SK Biopharm rides high with epilepsy drug
Cho Jeong-woo, CEO, outlined the company's business goals in an online press conference Thursday.
“We aim to report more than 160 billion won ($131.3) in sales of Cenobamate this year in the United States, which is double from last year,” Cho said.
Cenobamate is SK Biopharmaceuticals' first commercialized drug. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2019 and is being sold in the U.S. market under the name Xcopri. The treatment generated 78.2 billion won in sales last year in the United States, which was more than six times the amount in 2020.
The epilepsy treatment is being sold in four European countries: Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Britain. SK said it is likely to start selling in France, Italy and Spain this year.
The drug is currently undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials in Korea, China and Japan. It plans to release the treatment in all three countries in 2025.
Other promising treatments include Carisbamate, a candidate to treat symptoms of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and SKL27969, a candidate to treat advanced solid tumors.
Carisbamate is undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States while SKL27969 is set to start Phase 1 clinical trials.
The company has a total of eight drug candidates in development.
Cho also emphasized a digital health care project. SK is developing a wearable device that can warn epilepsy patients in advance when they are in danger of having a seizure. The device is expected to start clinical trials within the year.
When asked about the company’s share price, which fell sharply after an initial public offering (IPO) in July 2020, Cho predicted the price will rise if drugs in development come to fruition, adding that “we will repay [investors] with the results.”
After going public, SK Biopharmaceuticals shares rose as high as 217,000 won after hitting daily gain ceilings for three trading days. But then they plunged and closed at 89,800 won Thursday.
BY SARAH CHEA [email@example.com]