SK Biopharmaceuticals Announces a Strategic Alliance for Innovative Drug Development with Chinese Biopharmaceutical Companies

SEOUL, South Korea--The South Korean pharmaceutical company, SK Biopharmaceuticals, announced that they entered into a collaboration agreement with PKU International HealthCare Group, China, and Shanghai Medicilon, China, for its novel new small molecule SKL-PSY that is being developed for the treatment of depression and bipolar disorder.

SK Biopharmaceuticals and Shanghai Medicilon have been conducting various preclinical experiments for SKL-PSY since 2011. When its preclinical development has been successfully completed through the efforts of Medicilon CRO services, they will start clinical development with the newly-joined partners, Southwest Synthetic Pharmaceuticals and PKUCare Pharmaceutical R&D Center, both of which are subsidiaries of PKU International HealthCare Group.

Unlike currently-marketed antidepressants that can require 2-4 weeks to become effective, SKL-PSY has a relatively quick onset of therapeutic effects in animal models of depressive and manic states. The molecule is expected to be effective for both mania and depression. Use in both indications can be problematic for currently-marketed antidepressants or other agents for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

The combined current market size for antidepressants and treatments for bipolar disorder is estimated to be $39 billion annually.

SK Biopharmaceuticals, PKU International HealthCare Group, and Medicilon have agreed to start clinical trials following an Investigational New Drug (IND) application later this year.

Dr. Christopher Gallen, CEO and President of SK Biopharmaceuticals, said, "Through this agreement, both SK Biopharmaceuticals and PKU International can achieve tremendous synergy through the combination of R&D competencies, know-how, and experiences that each company brings to the table. This agreement allows SK Biopharmaceuticals to further advance our efforts to become a global leader in drug development and to have an excellent partner in the emerging Chinese market while allowing PKU International to advance as an innovator CNS Pharma in China."

About SK Biopharmaceuticals

SK Biopharmaceuticals is a global pharmaceutical company that was spun out in April 2011 from SK Holdings, the third-largest conglomerate in South Korea. SK Biopharmaceuticals focuses on the discovery and development of new drugs for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. SK Biopharmaceuticals also provides custom services for the manufacture and sales of active pharmaceutical ingredients as well as produces intermediates of drugs for global pharmaceutical companies at its facility in Daejeon, South Korea. The plant has been newly approved by the Korean FDA for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients under current Good Manufacturing Practices.

SK Biopharmaceuticals leads all Korean pharmaceutical companies with 13 authorized INDs in the U.S. SK Biopharmaceuticals has a preclinical research and development center located in Daejeon, South Korea, corporate offices in Seoul, South Korea, commercial and partnering offices in Shanghai, China, and its business development and clinical research center in New Jersey for the clinical development of its assets in the areas of epilepsy, neuropathic pain, depression, schizophrenia, chronic constipation, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

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About PKU International HealthCare Group

The PKU International HealthCare Group was established in 2003, combining resources from Founder Group as well as the medical science department at Peking University. It specializes in both health care and pharmaceuticals; health care businesses include hospital management, medical information systems, nursing, health management, and logistics, while pharmaceutical businesses include pharmaceutical research and development, manufacturing, logistics, and sales.

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About Shanghai Medicilon

Shanghai Medicilon is one of the premier drug discovery and development services companies in China, providing diverse services from discovery to IND for many major global pharmaceutical companies. The company comprises numerous experts with prior experience with global pharmaceutical companies.

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