Pet healthcare company Daewoong Pet to develop anti-muscle loss material for animals

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : June 16, 2023, 17:41 Updated : June 17, 2023, 01:01

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SEOUL -- Daewoong Pet, the pet healthcare wing of South Korea's major pharmaceutical company Daewoong Pharmaceutical, will work with research institutes to develop a drug for pets with sarcopenia, a type of muscle loss that commonly happens among old animals. Data obtained during the anti-muscle loss material development process can also be used to treat human patients.
According to data released by Daewoong Pet, sarcopenia, which deteriorates muscle function, can cause chronic diseases and even develop into life-threatening symptoms for pets. However, the company said there is no proper treatment for the condition. The syndrome also frequently takes place among humans aged more than 50.
"We were selected for a state project to create a sarcopenia treatment for pets," Daewoong Pet's spokesperson Lee Jeong-gyu told Aju Business Daily on June 16. The project also involves the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Sungkyunkwan University, and Lart Bio, a domestic company specializing in transgenic animal development. The consortium will complete the development of the candidate material by 2025.
Starting in 2026, the four organizations will cooperate to develop the drug by 2029. Daewoong Pet will lead the drug's commercialization. "This is a very important project as the safety and efficacy test results from the development process could later be used as translational research data to create sarcopenia treatment materials for humans," Daewoong Pet CEO Moon Jae-bong said in a statement.

Government data showed that about one out of four South Koreans raised a pet as of 2022. South Korea's pet veterinary market is steadily gaining momentum thanks to the increasing number of pet owners. According to the Korea Animal Health Products Association, the domestic animal drug market in 2021 reached 1.3 trillion won ($1 billion), up 10 percent from a year ago. In January 2023, CMG Pharmaceutical, a unit of South Korea's CHA biomedical group, acquired ING Medix, a domestic animal nutritional supplement provider. 
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