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Eye on Pharma: Biosimilar Developer Polus Gains $9.37 Million Investment


Republic of Korea–based drug developer Polus has sold $9.37 million in convertible bonds to its affiliate Amnis.

Republic of Korea—based drug developer Polus has sold $9.37 million in convertible bonds to its affiliate Amnis, according to The Investor.

Polus plans to use its newly raised funds to complete the construction of its new Korean manufacturing plant located in Gyeonggi province. The company broke ground on the plant in February 2017 in the hopes of completing the facility by February 2018. Polus also plans to set up a production site in Turkey that will supply Polus’ biosimilar products to the European marketplace (Polus will reportedly seek US and European regulatory approval for the biosimilars in its pipeline).

Polus, founded in March 2016 and led by CEO Nam Seung-heon (formerly the vice president and president of rival Korean biosimilar developer Celltrion and Celltrion Healthcare, respectively), is currently developing 4 biosimilar candidates: PDP808, an insulin glargine (referenced on Lantus); PDP805, a somatropin (human growth hormone); PDP807, a ranibizumab (referenced on Lucentis); and PDP815, an insulin lispro (referenced on Humalog).

The major investment from Amnis comes after a July 2017 announcement that Polus would issue private placement corporate bonds, including convertible bonds and bonds with stock purchase warrants, worth the equivalent of $43.44 million. The company also announced that it would offer $34.76 million worth of corporate bonds without guarantees. At the time, Polus’ president, Park Joo-ho, told Business Korea that, in addition to completing work on its manufacturing facility, the funds raised would allow the company to begin a global clinical trial of its insulin glargine biosimilar by the middle of 2018.

As for Amnis, the newly announced investment in Polus may mark a significant change for the company; an Amnis official told The Investor that the company, which is currently focused on the production of telecommunication equipment, “may spin off our telecom equipment business later” as the company shifts its focus to biopharmaceuticals. Amnis is scheduled to convene a general meeting on January 26 to vote on changing its name to Polus Biopharm.

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