KT Executive Vice President KT Executive Vice President Song Jae-ho, right, Digital Pharm CEO Song Jae-do, center, and Hanmi Pharmaceutical CEO Woo Jong-soo at a Hanmi office in Seoul. Photo courtesy of KT
KT Executive Vice President KT Executive Vice President Song Jae-ho, right, Digital Pharm CEO Song Jae-do, center, and Hanmi Pharmaceutical CEO Woo Jong-soo at a Hanmi office in Seoul. Photo courtesy of KT

Digital Pharm working on digital drugs for addicts

South Korea’s leading telecom operator KT said on June 19 that the company had invested in the country’s digital therapeutics (DTx) startup Digital Pharm.

Korea’s research-oriented drug company Hanmi Pharmaceutical also took part in the investment. But they did not disclose how much they channeled into Digital Pharm.

DTx is an emerging technology of taking advantage of software applications geared toward helping patients treat and manage various diseases.

KT noted that it would take charge of building business strategies and developing necessary platforms. Hanmi is expected to lead the marketing efforts and other tasks related to winning government approvals.

Prof. Kim Dae-jin at Catholic University Seoul St. Mary Hospital set up Digital Pharm last year to carry out businesses about DTx. Its first project is about alcohol and nicotine addiction.

Under the alliance with KT and Hanmi, Digital Pharm also plans to work on electroceuticals for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients.

Electroceuticals refer to devices designed to deal with ailments via electrical impulses.

KT Executive Vice President Song Jae-ho said in a statement that the firm expected a synergy effect to create the country’s ecosystem for DTx and electroceuticals.

Digital Pharm CEO Kim Dae-jin also expressed hypes about the three-way partnership.

“In the future, the DTx market would further expand so that we would be able to offer customized treatment based on data. We will spearhead the market,” Kim said.

Experts also agreed that the DTx business has rich upside potential.

“I don’t think that the DTx business will become the mainstream overnight,” Bluepoint Partners Vice President Lee Seung-woo said. It is a venture capitalist.

“However, a mounting number of corporations are wading into the DTx business across the world. The trend is expected to continue down the road.”

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The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.