Contera Pharma, a Copenhagen-based subsidiary of Korean drugmaker Bukwang Pharm, said it has raised 3 billion won ($2.5 million) investment from Medici Investment, a venture capital firm in Seoul.
Contera Pharma plans to use the fund to speed up a phase-3 trial on JM-010, a treatment candidate for levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) in Parkinson’s disease, in Europe.
Bukwang acquired Contera Pharma specializing in the central nervous system in 2014. JM-010 is a new drug candidate to treat dyskinesia caused by levodopa, commonly taken by patients with Parkinson’s disease. Although levodopa has excellent efficacy, long-term medication can cause movement disorders such as chorea or muscle tension disorder.
The LID market is estimated to be around 2 trillion won in the U.S. Adamas Pharmaceuticals’ Gocovri (ingredient: amantadine) is the only authorized drug to treat LID in the U.S., but the drug sales are stagnant due to side effects, news reports said.
Contera Pharma and Bukwang Pharm confirmed the safety and efficacy of JM-010 in Proof-of-Concept (POC) and phase-1 studies in Germany. The studies did not report any particular side effect of the drug.
Contera Pharma is to open phase-2 trials in France, Germany, and Spain and complete them within two years.
“With this funding, Contera Pharma will further advance to become a CNS specializing firm. We expect that our open innovation in Northern Europe centering on Contera Pharma will become more active,” a Bukwang Pharm official said.