TLC inks drug sales deal with South Korean company

GLOBAL AMBITIONS::The firm is also in talks to license AmBiL in Europe, and expects it to be approved for sale there by the end of the year

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 - Page 13

Local drug maker Taiwan Liposome Co (TLC, 台灣微脂體) yesterday announced that it has inked a sales deal with South Korea-based SamChunDang Pharmaceutical Co Ltd to sell AmBiL, a generic drug for systematic fungal infections, in South Korea.

“Under the deal, Taiwan Liposome will receive a down payment and milestone payments, while SamChunDang will pay a specified price to TLC for every unit of the drug it sells in South Korea,” an official at the Taiwanese company, who declined to be named, said by telephone.

Milestone payments will be paid when AmBiL is approved for sale in South Korea, or when sales of the drug reach agreed targets, she said, without elaborating.

Taiwan Liposome has said that SamChunDang may have to wait until the second half of next year to receive the drug license from the South Korean government.

However, following Gilead Sciences Inc’s global recall of AmBisome, a leading drug for systematic fungal infections, at the end of June, Seoul may expedite the licensing process to allow hospitals to use AmBiL, the TLC official said.

Citing pharmaceutical and healthcare researcher IMS Health, the official said the market for drugs like AmBiL in South Korea is estimated at between NT$300 million and NT$400 million a year (US$10 million and US$13.35 million), and Taiwan Liposome and SamChunDang aim to acquire half of the market.

Taiwan Liposome is also in talks with another firm to license AmBiL in Europe, she said, and it expects that AmBiL will be licensed for sale in the US and Europe by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, TLC said it sold 4,590 vials of AmBiL at NT$6,641 per vial in Taiwan to fill in the supply gap caused by the Gilead recall last month, sales that it said will boost revenue this month.

From January through last month, the company’s revenue totaled NT$133.98 million, up 2.53 percent from NT$130.67 million a year ago, according to a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

TLC posted losses of NT$43.23 million in the first quarter, compared with losses of NT$40.68 million a year ago.