Courtesy of Celltrion

Korean outfit gains U.S. approval

A company with annual sales of around $1 billion can double in size every year? Most investors would be skeptical, but that’s what one of Korea’s biggest firms Celltrion tries to do.

During the shareholders’ meeting earlier this year, Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin said that the pharmaceutical company will grow 100 percent this year and 500 percent by 2021. Its revenue just fell short of 1 trillion won ($853 million) in 2018.

The biosimilar manufacturer is the country’s No. 4 company in terms of market capitalization at 26.17 trillion won ($22.34 billion), ahead of even such powerhouses as LG Chem and POSCO.

The question is whether Celltrion will be able to achieve the ambitious goals. Time will tell, but the Incheon-based outfit continues to come up with seemingly good news.

Celltrion said last week that it gained marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its antibiotic generic called Linezolid across the country.

The drug is expected to hit the U.S. market late this year, which the company expects will help it carve out a substantial share of the global market amounting to some $600 million.

Linezolid, a strong antibiotic used for infections, got the approval from the British authorities in March and expects green lights in such European countries as Germany, France, Italy, and Spain in the not-so-distant future.

Linezolid marks Celltrion’s second success in expanding its lineup to chemical synthetic medicines beyond biosimilars – previously the firm won FDA approval for Temixys that treats HIV infection.

Last month, Celltrion said that it received regulatory approval for Truxima in Canada. It is a biosimilar, which treats autoimmune diseases.