The rivalry between Daewoong Pharmaceutical and Chong Kun Dang is getting intensifying in the cognitive dysfunction treatment market.
The two drugmakers have been fighting for Gliatilin, a cognitive enhancer (ingredient name: choline alfoscerate).
Daewoong had sold Gliatilin until 2016 when Italfarmaco, the original developers of the drug, signed a partnership agreement with Chong Kun Dang. The latter released the product under the name "Chong Kun Dang Gliatilin."
To protect its market share, Daewoong started to sell its generic Gliatamin through its subsidiary Daewoong Bio.
In addition to the market competition, the two companies have been fighting for reference-listed drug (RLD) status for Gliatilin, which requires future generics to pass a bioequivalence test against the RLD before receiving approval.
Receiving RLD status implies that the treatment is an original drug. Although Daewoong Bio, claiming its choline alfoscerate preparation should become the RLD, filed an administrative lawsuit to obtain RLD status, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety designated Chong Kun Dang Gliatilin as the reference drug.
Chong Kun Dang is enjoying the effect of its partnership with Italfarmaco.
According to a report published by UBIST, Daewong Bio posted an outpatient prescription of 36.64 billion won ($32.83 million) in the first half of this year, up 24.5 percent from the 29.4 billion won made during the same period last year.
Although Chong Kun Dang Gliatilin lagged behind with prescription sales of 29.9 billion won in the first half year, its growth surpassed that of Daewoong Gliatamin. Chong Kun Dang Gliatilin sales grew 35.2 percent from 22.1 billion won posted during the same period of last year.
Besides, the two companies are competing to develop new products related to cognitive dysfunction.
Chong Kun Dang is conducting clinical trials for a combination treatment of donepezil and memantine. Donepezil is a representative drug used in the treatment of dementia. Chong Kun Dang is the second Korean company to begin the research of a combination treatment after Hyundai Pharmaceutical.
Daewoong Pharm is developing two new products -- DWP820S001, a stem cell-based dementia/Alzheimer's disease treatment, and a Donepezil patch type product.
The development of donepezil patch type product is so complicated that even leading multinational pharmaceutical companies have failed to develop it.
Daewoong is developing a once-a-week donepezil patch to differentiate itself from Icure Pharmaceutical and Boryung Pharma, which started the development of the donepezil patch ahead of Daewoong.
Daewoong and Chong Kun Dang are also the partners of Eisai, which holds a dominant position in the dementia treatment market.
Chong Kun Dang is jointly marketing Eisai’s Aricept, while Daewoong is in charge of manufacturing the medication. Both companies also own generic versions of Donepezil.