Published date: October 11, 2021
In addition to BioPlus CEO Chung Hyun-kyu’s success in listing on the KOSDAQ based on the filler business, he is taking botulinum toxin as a new growth engine and pushing for it.
CEO Jeong seems to have decided that he must enter the drug market, which has a high entry barrier compared to fillers, to open the future.
▲ CEO Jeong Hyun-kyu of BioPlus.
According to BioPlus on the 11th, it is currently developing next-generation botulinum toxin in collaboration with Orabio, an unlisted venture company. It has set a goal of releasing new improved products that are more sustainable than before.
OraBio entered the botulinum toxin business in March 2020 by securing legal strains through an official botulinum strain sale contract.
CEO Jeong signed an investment and joint management contract with Orabio CEO Lee Hae-jin in May this year. Accordingly, BioPlus has secured a 43.4% stake in Orabio.
CEO Jeong believes that botulinum toxin, which is developed with Orabio, can become a new flagship product of BioPlus following hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers.
“The improved botulinum toxin is a next-generation product that makes the ‘second blue ocean’,” he said at a bioplus initial publication briefing held on September 8. “We will complete clinical trials by the end of 2024 and obtain product approval.”
Currently, BioPlus collects most of its sales from hyaluronic acid fillers. Of the 18.2 billion won in sales in the first half of this year, 84.3% came from hyaluronic acid fillers. The rest consists of anti-adhesion agents and bio-cosmetics.
Considering that BioPlus posted an operating profit of 10 billion won in the first half of this year, it can be seen that the hyaluronic acid filler business is quite profitable.
BioPlus explained that its own filler has established itself as a premium product because it has excellent durability and viscoelasticity (the property of maintaining its shape well and easily changing its shape) compared to other products.
The reason why CEO Jeong is not satisfied with the filler business alone and enters the botulinum toxin business can be found in the market situation. Currently, more than 100 companies in the world sell hyaluronic acid fillers.
The botulinum toxin market has a higher entry barrier than this, maintaining a structure in which minority companies dominate. This is because there are regulations on strains and clinical procedures are complicated.
In fact, looking at the market share by product, it is estimated that botulinum toxin product Botox of Allergan in the U.S. currently accounts for 72% of the global market. In addition, Hugel’s Botulax is believed to have occupied more than 50% of the domestic market.
In terms of market size alone, hyaluronic acid fillers and botulinum toxin are identified at almost the same level. The global botulinum toxin market is known to have reached the mid-4 trillion won level this year. In addition, the hyaluronic filler market is expected to grow to 4.5 trillion won (about 3.8 billion dollars) this year.
However, considering the competition situation, the size of the pie occupied by individual companies is bound to be larger in botulinum toxin than that of hyaluronic acid fillers.
▲ Jeong Hyun-kyu, CEO of BioPlus, explains his plan for the next-generation botulinum toxin business at a public briefing session held online on September 8. <Seoul IRTV YouTube Channel Galmuri>
Considering these points, CEO Jeong is speeding up his entry into the botulinum toxin market. As early as the end of this year, the company plans to start building mass-production facilities and submit an application for approval of clinical trial plans (IND) in the second half of next year.
Of course, products other than botulinum toxin are also included in CEO Jeong’s growth strategy. Bio-bubbles, bio-carbons, and improved obesity and diabetes treatments are on the new product development list.
BioPlus’s recent acquisition of new R&D talent is interpreted as a way to accelerate the launch of such next-generation products.
In June, BioPlus recruited Dr. Choi Seung-eun as the head of the research institute. Choi worked as the head of the research and planning team at Anguk Pharmaceutical, the chief researcher at Quzen Biotech, and the head of the Genewell Research Institute. It has development results related to various medical products such as anticancer drugs and sepsis combined administration drugs, hyaluronic acid fillers, wound cladding, anti-adhesion drugs, and diabetes treatments.
This is why market expectations for BioPlus are expected to rise further in the future.
At the time of the listing briefing, CEO Jeong said, “We will accelerate the development of innovative products and expansion of new businesses and new markets with the listing,” adding, “We will grow into a global leader in bio-material applications, while leap forward as a leading company in the bio-industry.”
BioPlus was listed on the KOSDAQ on September 27. Ahead of the listing, 6.6515 trillion won was collected as a deposit for general public offering stocks, showing a competition rate of 1206.63 to [Business post reporter Lim Hansol]