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[IPO] Celltrion Healthcare to bolster direct sales network for emerging markets

PUBLISHED : July 14, 2017 - 17:44

UPDATED : July 14, 2017 - 17:46

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[THE INVESTOR] Celltrion Healthcare, the marketing affiliate of Celltrion, said on July 14 it will use a direct sales strategy to distribute biosimilar products in the emerging markets in order to yield higher margins.

“To tap deeper into the emerging markets, we will build direct sales networks overseas by investing the funds that will be raised through an initial public offering,” Celltrion Healthcare CEO Kim Man-hoon said in a press conference held in Seoul ahead of the company’s planned listing on the junior KOSDAQ market on July 28. 


Celltrion Healthcare CEO Kim Man-hoon



While the company sells biosimilar therapies developed by Celltrion in the US and Europe via its multiple marketing and sales partners including Pfizer, it is opting for a more profitable venture for Asian and other emerging markets.

According to the CEO, Celltrion Healthcare has already established direct sales networks in Japan, Singapore. Taiwan and Philippines.

Starting from the countries close to Korea, Celltrion Healthcare seeks to develop its own marketing muscles as Cellitrion is preparing to initiate early clinical trials of five more biosimilars including its versions of Enbrel, Humira and Avastin.

Currently, the company distributes Celltrion’s drugs, including Remsima and Truxima referencing Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade and Roche’s Rituxan, in 115 countries through 34 global marketing partners.

“For our first biosimilar Remsima, we have been solely focusing on increasing market share in the European countries by signing co-exclusive agreements with multiple partners which led to significant market share gains to over 40 percent,” Executive Director Kim Jae-hyun said. But there has been a downside to this strategy –- price erosion -- as the partners compete with each other to sell the same drug in a country.

“Having learnt the lesson, we inked exclusive marketing agreements with Pfizer and Teva for two separate products in the US market,” she said.

Once Celltrion launches its Herceptin biosimilar and the subcutaneous version of Remsima by the end of 2019, the size of the pharmaceutical market of the original treatments it can enter will increase fivefold to 55 trillion won, the company said.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)

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