Wed, Jan 02, 2019 - Page 12 News List

TaiGen gets new chair as its antibiotic hits market

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

TaiGen Biopharmaceuticals Holdings Ltd (太景醫藥研發控股) on Friday last week announced that chairwoman Hsu Ming-chu (許明珠) has handed over the reins to Philip Huang (黃國龍), who had formerly headed the company’s Beijing-based subsidiary.

The change in leadership came as Taigexyn, its brand name for nemonoxacin, the company’s main antibiotic, entered the commercialization phase in its primary market, China.

Huang, a 20-year veteran of pharmaceutical marketing with experience of the Chinese market, is an ideal candidate to lead the company, Hsu said in a statement, adding that Taigexyn gained marketing approval in 2015 during Huang’s tenure as head Asian commercial officer.

Shortly after Taigexyn’s approval, Huang played an instrumental role in engineering a joint venture with China’s YiChang HEC ChangJiang Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (HEC, 宜昌東陽光長江藥業) to pursue the development of a new cocktail of drugs to treat chronic hepatitis C.

The deal allowed TaiGen to commercialize a part of its development pipeline and gain immediate earnings ahead of the lengthy marketing approval process, the company said.

Under the terms of the deal, TaiGen would license furaprevir (TG-2349), one of the two major components of the cocktail, and receive a 49 percent stake in the new joint venture, while its Chinese counterpart would provide financial backing and the second component of the cocktail, yimitasvir (DAG-181), an NS 5 protein inhibitor.

Meanwhile, Hsu is taking on a new role as the company’s senior consultant and would continue to oversee pipeline development as her interim mission has concluded, the statement said.

Hsu, a veteran of the pharmaceutical sector who has worked at Roche Holding AG, was among a wave of industry experts working abroad who responded to the government’s call to return to Taiwan in the late 1990s.

She founded TaiGen in 2001 and gained backing from the investment arm of conglomerate YFY Inc (永豐餘控股).

Huang in 2004 was appointed by YFY as a management team member and led the approval and marketing of Taigexyn.

While the antibiotic has yet to produce a significant jump in Chinese revenue, the company is still building the brand and its network of hospitals and physicians, and expects sales to peak in three to five years before further acceleration when an intravenous formulation is approved, Huang told an investors’ conference in November.

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