Kolon CEO arrested for mislabeling Invossa’s ingredient

Jeong Sae-im  Published 2020.02.03  15:34  Updated 2020.02.04 12:12


A local court issued an arrest warrant for Kolon Life Science CEO Lee Woo-sok for the labeling error of a drug ingredient in Invossa-K, now-defunct gene therapy for osteoarthritis.

Kolon Life Science CEO Lee Woo-suk at a press conference in April 2019

The Seoul Central District Court issued the arrest warrant for Lee on Saturday morning, saying most of the criminal charges against Lee have been explained, and the issue was grave. “Considering the status of the suspect, his relationship with key stakeholders, and the progress of the investigation so far, we recognize the reason and necessity of the arrest,” the court said.

The prosecution sought the arrest warrant for Lee on Jan. 28 for allegedly hiding the fact that Invossa contained kidney-derived cells (GPS-293) instead of cartilage cells and submitting false data to win the Invossa license from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

The prosecution suspects that Lee also involved in fraudulent acts to unfairly list Kolon TissueGene, a subsidiary of Kolon Life Science, on the stock market.

On Dec. 24, the court dismissed the prosecution’s arrest warrant for Lee. However, the prosecution later raided the headquarters of Kolon Life Science to secure additional material and requested Lee’s arrest again.

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