Shown above is a factory of LG Chem in South Korea. The firm has agreed to acquire U.S. biopharmaceutical company AVEO. Photo courtesy of LG Chem

Korean chemical giant expands biz horizon

South Korea’s LG Chem announced on Oct. 18 that it would spend $566 million to acquire AVEO Oncology, a biopharmaceutical company based in the United States.

LG Chem noted that its life sciences division would create a synergy effect in clinical, biologics manufacturing, and U.S. commercialization through combination with AVEO.

AVEO has a led product called FOTIVDA, which received approval for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration early last year. The drug is designed to treat relapsed or refractory advanced renal cell carcinoma.

After wrapping up the transaction, AVEO is scheduled to establish and operate as the U.S. commercial foundation of LG Chem, according to the Seoul-headquartered company.

LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol appreciated AVEO’s track record of clinical success, the deep pipeline of innovative therapies, and continued growth trajectory.

“This transaction represents the next step in our portfolio transformation towards higher growth markets and provides a strong commercial foundation in oncology as we continue to develop our anti-cancer offerings,” Shin said.

“We remain focused on prudently investing in our R&D capabilities, continuing to build a leading portfolio of therapies and transforming lives through inspiring science and leading innovation.”

AVEO President Michael Bailey said that an all-cash premium to the firm’s shareholders would be compelling.

“By joining forces with LG Chem, AVEO expects to have significant financial and development resources to help AVEO fully realize the tremendous potential of our promising pipeline,” he said.

“This transaction is a testament to the extraordinary efforts of our employees, who will play an integral role in the success of the combined company. We look forward to entering our next chapter of growth with the support of LG Chem.”

LG Chem is Korea’s foremost chemical company. Its bioscience division also has worked on multiple clinical and pre-clinical stage anti-cancer therapies.

Its affiliate LG Energy Solution is the world’s No. 2 manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries.

Kevin Chung studied literature in Seoul. He is interested in various areas. He can be reached at jumphigher55@aol.com or 82-2-6956-6698.