Medytox’ entry into the Chinese anti-wrinkle injections market with its self-developed botulinum toxin is drawing attention.
The Korean botox maker recently said it has completed seeking regulatory approval of the China Food and Drug Administration for Medytoxin, under the brand name of Neuronox.
Medytox finished phase-3 clinical trials for the dermal filler in China in June 2017, which was the first among Korean drugmakers.
Experts said setting the right price for Medytoxin will decide whether Medytox will be successful in China.
According to an analysis by Korea Investment & Securities, Allergan’s Botox, the leading botulinum toxin, sells at around 500,000 won ($460) to 700,000 won in China, much more expensive than 350,000 won to 450,000 won in the U.S.
Another botulinum toxin BTX-A by Lanzhou, a Chinese pharmaceutical firm securing the dermal filler market as much as Allergan, sells at between 350,000 won and 510,000 won.
Latecomer Medytox might give a meaningful impact on the Chinese botulinum toxin market if it sets the price of Medytoxin low, along with similar efficacy, analysts said.
Medytoxin sells at around 100,000 won per shot in Korea amid a severe price competition among botox makers.
Except for Lanzhou and Allergan, rival companies are slower than Medytox to prepare for a Chinese market entry, which gives a competitive edge to Medytox.
As Daewoong Pharmaceuticals’ Nabota and Hugel’s Botulax are in phase-3 clinical trials in China now, their market releases are expected to be around 2022-2024, observers said.
In contrast, Medytox may sell its product in 2019, as it usually takes one year from requesting for regulatory approval to receiving sales approval in China.
Medytox hopes to create a synergy with its Chinese partner firm.
Medybloom, a 50-50 joint venture between Medytox and Bloomage BioTechnology, is seeking the Chinese’ regulatory approval now.
Bloomage is an injectable filler giant, taking up 60 percent of the Chinese botox market and 20 percent of the global market with its hyaluronic acid (HA)-based fillers.
However, Bloomage does not have any botulinum toxin, making it highly likely that the company might try to grow Medytoxin as a flagship product through the joint venture.
“Having a strong presence in China, Bloomage is a perfect partner for Medytox. If Bloomage sells Medytoxin, along with HA fillers, it will earn a great synergy effect,” said Jin Heung-guk, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities.
Medytox said China has high growth potential for cosmetics and plastic surgery markets, which are growing 20-30 percent a year.
“As we set up a joint venture with a leading firm Bloomage BioTechnology in the cosmetics and plastic surgery market, we will benefit from the first-mover advantage through a distinguished marketing strategy,” a Medytox official said.