A new hypertension drug Edarbi by Takeda Pharmaceuticals Korea and Dong-A ST, and anti-obesity injection Saxenda by Novo Nordisk Pharma Korea have begun to be accessible in major hospitals in Korea.
Edarbi recently passed the review of the Samsung Medical Center’s drug committee, following that of the Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH).
|Edarbi (above) and Saxenda|
The antihypertensive medication is also expected to be available at Asan Medical Center and Severance Hospital.
Edarbi is the nation’s ninth new drug to treat high blood pressure as an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB). ARB drugs lower blood pressure by suppressing angiotensin II, a hormone that raises blood pressure by blocking the angiotensin II receptor.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals Korea obtained the sales license of Edarbi from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in May. In August, the company picked Dong-A ST as a joint marketing partner for the hypertension treatment.
Although Edarbi is a late runner, it has a long half-life compared to other ARB medications. The treatment’s time of reaching the maximum blood concentration is short.
Edarbi was able to pass the assessment of the SNUH’s strict drug committee with such strengths in pharmacological characteristics, industry officials said.
Anti-obesity medication Saxenda also entered Samsung Medical Center, one of the leading hospitals.
Released in March, Saxenda injections can be administered once a day. The treatment, which is Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1), gained approval as an anti-obesity drug in the U.S. in 2014.
In Korea, physicians can prescribe Saxenda to adult obese patients as a drug adjuvant to help them control weight, along with a calorie reduction diet and increased physical activity. The prescription is available to obese patients with one or more weight-related accompanying diseases such as pre-diabetes, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, or dyslipidemia.
Liraglutide, the main ingredient of Saxenda, has been released as Victoza Pen Inj. 6mg/ml for treatment of diabetes.
Saxenda is available in 10 general hospitals, including SNUH, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Severance Hospital, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Ajou University Hospital, and Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital Seoul.