Daewoong tells ministry to halt probe

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Daewoong tells ministry to halt probe

Daewoong Pharmaceutical is asking the Ministry of SMEs and Startups to halt its administrative inspection of the company, launched as the latest development in a long-running dispute with Medytox, which for years has accused Daewoong of stealing its botulinum toxin strain.

Daewoong refused to comply with the ministry’s request for five days of access to the company’s physical sites and documents relevant to the dispute, the company said in a statement Monday.

Medytox filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) last year, accusing Daewoong Pharmaceutical of stealing its botulinum toxin strain as part of the process of manufacturing its own product, Nabota. The matter has been the subject of domestic court proceedings for the past several years.

In refusing the ministry’s request, Daewoong Pharmaceutical claimed it was being vilified by the ministry’s actions and had asked the officials to hold off on the inspection as “results of the [ITC] proceedings will be available soon.”

Daewoong Pharmaceutical also claimed that the inspection is not within the purview of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, as Medytox is not a small- or medium-sized company.

“Medytox was already a company twice the size of Daewoong Pharmaceutical, with a 4 trillion won [$3.3 billion] value when the dispute started,” Daewoong said in the statement.

Medytox responded Monday, arguing that Daewoong’s refusal to cooperate with the ministry amounted to a tacit admission of guilt.

Daewoong Pharmaceutical also rejected Medytox’s claim that it spent 18 years developing its botulinum toxin, adding that Medytox previously mentioned that it spent a total of 27 months developing its product.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]

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