Firms will share profits in alliance hoped to boost presence in Korean and global markets.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is shelling out £73.9 million (roughly $109.84 million) for a 9.9% stake in South Korea-based Dong-A Pharmaceutical as part of the firms’ new alliance to co-promote selected pharma products in the primary care field. GSK says the alliance will also look at new ways of strengthening both partners’ commercial positions in the Korean market. The deal will involve profit sharing on a preagreed basis for co-promoted products, and Dong-A will establish a new business unit to manage the collaboration.

GSK Korea reported sales of £225 million (about $334.23 million) in 2009. The firm claims the new alliance presents an ideal opportunity to expand its commercial footprint and build operational scale in the Korean market. Won-Bae Kim, president of Dong-A, says the partnership will “enable us to accelerate our transformation into a true global player.”

Dong-A’s marketed portfolio comprises both proprietary and generic pharmaceutical and healthcare brands. With expertise in animal cell culture, long-acting protein technology, gene therapy, mAb therapeutics, and biopharmaceutical screening, its clinical-stage pipeline spans NCE and biopharma products in a range of therapeutic fields.

Dong-A recorded total sales of £414 million ($614.78 million) in 2009. The firm’s flagship products include: the gastritis medication Stillen®, the erectile dysfunction drug Zydena®, the nootropic drug Nicetile®, the thrombolytic oral prostaglandin E1 derivative Opalmon, the generic clopidogrel antithrombolytic Plavitor®, and the amlopidine hypertension therapy Orodipine®. The combined sales volumes of these drugs in 2009 amounted to KRW 244.3 billion (approximately $215.3 million), the firm claims.

In November 2009, U.S. Phase III trials with Zydena were initiated by Dong-A’s U.S. partner, Warner Chilcott. Developed by Dong-A, the PDE5 inhibitor was green-lighted by the Korean Food and Drug Administration in December 2005. Currently available in 32 countries, Zydena generated exports agreement worth some $300 million. In its 2009 annual report, Dong-A claimed the drug represents the number one Korean pharmaceutical export.

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