Dragon Pharmaceuticals Inc. is pleased to announce that it has entered into a marketing and licensing agreement with Jelfa S.A. of Poland for the distribution of Erythropoietin (EPO), a blood growth protein used to treat anemia, in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (“CIS”).
The agreement grants Jelfa, the second largest pharmaceutical company in Poland, an exclusive license to sell Dragon’s EPO across 23 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS. Jelfa will also be responsible for obtaining all product registration and marketing approvals from the appropriate regulatory authorities.
The regulatory dossier for Dragon’s EPO will be submitted initially to the Polish regulatory authorities for marketing approval. Regulatory submissions will be filed in the remaining territories subsequent to receipt of approval in Poland. Dragon and Jelfa management anticipate that the regulatory submission to Polish authorities will be filed during May 2001 and that product sales in Poland will commence in early 2002.
Dragon’s proprietary protein expression technology produces substantially higher yields of EPO with a lower cost per dose than that of the world’s leading EPO manufacturers. Dragon and Jelfa management anticipate that the significantly lower price of Dragon’s product will provide a commanding competitive advantage in the territories covered by this agreement.
According to audited IMS Health Data figures, the 1999 world market for EPO was US$4.3 billion, 80% of which was based on sales to North America and the European Union. Market penetration of EPO in countries outside North America and the European Union has been severely limited because of the high cost of currently available product. Dragon expects that the introduction of affordably priced EPO will stimulate a substantial increase in the volume of EPO consumed by these highly price conscious markets.
About Dragon Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Dragon Pharmaceuticals is an international biopharmaceutical corporation engaged in the development and commercialization of generic as well as novel and patentable therapeutics. Based on its proprietary protein expression technology, Dragon has become one of the world’s lowest cost producers of Erythropoietin (EPO), and is in the process of applying its platform technology to a pipeline of additional products.