Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s RaboneD, an osteoporosis treatment in the selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) class, has secured a dominant market share in Korea with its annual prescriptions reaching 7.6 billion won ($6.7 million) last year.
The market of combination drugs that mixed raloxifene with vitamin D rapidly has grown to more than 10 billion won in 18 months since the arrival of RaboneD.
|Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s combination drug RaboneD for osteoporosis treatment|
According to UBIST data, Hanmi’s RaboneD sold 7.57 billion won in 2018. The drugmaker rolled out the combo therapy in July 2017.
Hanmi developed the world’s first combo drug by combining raloxifene hydrochloride, the main ingredient of the original SERM-class osteoporosis treatment Evista, with vitamin D (cholecalciferol).
As the company noticed that osteoporosis patients take vitamin D supplements separately, it applied its patented manufacturing technology Poly Cap to provide vitamin D additionally in a smaller pill.
Immediately after the market release, RaboneD showed a brisk sales growth. In August last year, RaboneD’s prescriptions surpassed those of Takeda’s Evista, the original raloxifene drug.
Similar rival drugs came out, but they failed to outpace RaboneD.
After RaboneD, Alvogen Korea’s Bone Duo ranked second with 433 million won outpatient prescriptions last year. After the market launch in December 2017, it sold less than 500 million won for the whole year.
Other similar drugs also showed poor sales. Jeil Pharm’s Bondube sold 343 million won, and Hana Pham’s Ralloxi Plus, 341 million won.
In other words, RaboneD dominated the SERM-class combo treatment market.
As the patent of Pfizer’s original SERM osteoporosis drug Viviant (bazedoxifene) expired, other rivals released four generic copies of bazedoxifene and 22 bazedoxifene+vitamin D combos in the osteoporosis market.
The government set the average reimbursement for the combo drugs at 559 won, which was lower than the average monotherapy of bazedoxifene at 652 won. Industry watchers said they were paying attention to how such reimbursement gap will shape the local osteoporosis treatment market later.