Medytox and Hugel have achieved a rapid growth in manufacturing botulinum toxin type A products this year, government data showed.
According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Medytox’ botulinum toxin type A Medytoxin (based on 100 units) posted 21.72 billion won ($19.98 million) output in the second quarter, soaring from 6.27 billion won in the previous quarter. In the first half alone, the drugmaker produced 27.99 billion won worth Medytoxin, which is near the last year’s annual output worth 31.3 billion won.
Medytox started its third plant, capable of manufacturing 600 billion won worth products, in the first half, which boosted Botox production capacity by 10 folds, the company said.
Hugel’s botulinum toxin type A Botulax (based on 100 units) also saw its output mark a record high. The drugmaker produced 16.73 billion won worth Botulax in the first half of this year, exceeding the 16.45 billion won worth of production for the whole of last year.
The output growth also resulted from Hugel’s construction of an additional plant. The company started operating a second factory last year. The second facility is capable of producing 5 million vials per year, seven times larger than the first plant, capable of producing 720,000 vials a year. Hugel is to add facilities in the second plant to provide additional 2.5 million vials of the drug by early next year.
However, Daewoong Pharmaceutical’s botulinum toxin type A Nabota (based on 100 unit) is slightly underperforming. Nabota is Korea’s third botulinum toxin type A. The company manufactured 8.5 billion won worth Nabota in the first half, inching down from 9.05 billion won a year earlier. Nabota’s annual output stood at 19.52 billion won last year, and 19.37 billion won in 2015.
As Daewoong’s second plant for Nabota in Hyangnam, Gyeonggi Province, obtained Good Manufacturing Practice (KGMP) from the ministry in October and received the inspection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month, its manufacturing of for-export Nabota products will accelerate the total output of the drug, observers said.
Huons manufactured 1.4 billion won worth botulinum toxin type A Hutox in the first half, most of which presumed to have been exported amid local clinical trials on the treatment. Other drugmakers such as Pharma Research Products, Medica Korea, and Jetema, formerly Pronexx, have begun developing botulinum toxin type A products but commercialization will take a long time, observers said.
Pharmaceutical industry officials said the expansion of output from leading botox makers Medytox and Hugel would help alleviate a botox shortage.
“Korean botulinum toxin products have been popular not only in Korea but also in Southeast Asian markets. The products have been in shortage. Once they are manufactured, many of them were exported immediately,” an industry source said. “Other drugmakers jumped in the market expanding their plants, which will help reduce the supply shortage.”