Singapore-listed AsiaPharm, a specialty pharmaceutical group from China, has appointed Kwang Dong Pharmaceutical as the exclusive distributor for its oncology drug, CMNa, in South Korea.

Kwang Dong – an established manufacturer and distributor of both modern prescription drugs and traditional medicines in Korea – sees great market potential for CMNa in South Korea. Under the terms of the agreement, Kwang Dong will conduct  clinical studies to comply with approval requirements from the South Korean authorities for the sale of CMNa in the country and is responsible for the promotion and distribution of CMNa in the South Korean pharmaceutical market, which has been estimated to be worth over $6.6 billion annually by IMS Health.

Mr Liu Dianbo, AsiaPharm’s Executive Chairman said that the company is  confident of leveraging on Kwang Dong’s established distribution network and familiarity with the Korean pharmaceutical industry to introduce CMNa into the Korean market which will greatly boost contribution from our oncology segment without having to commit resources to manage differences in regulatory environment or incur significant marketing costs.

A prepared release noted that, utilizing a unique chemical compound that inhibits the recovery of cancer cells destroyed during radiation therapy, CMNa is the only approved chemical sensitizer for radiotherapy in the world. The China State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) have classified it as a “Class One New Drug”. AsiaPharm acquired all rights and patents to CMNa in October 2006 that includes product patents in the China, US, EU and patents pending approval in Japan.

Leveraging on the international recognition for CMNa, AsiaPharm is set to capitalize on the opportunity presented to penetrate the international oncology pharmaceutical market that has been forecasted by IMS Health to exceed $75 billion annually by 2012.