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World famous natural medicine, that’s our goal
by Eui Kyoung Yoon (ekyeun@dreamdrug.com)
Published : Aug 17, 2012 15:00:45
Motiliton racked up 5 billion won for the first half although it was just rolled out this year. Dong-A expects 8 billion won in sales of Motilion for the second half as it replaces Stillen.

DailyPharm met Son Mi Won, PhD., head of natural medicine development of Dong-A, to ask her perspectives and plans for new natural medicines.

Q: What does your natural medicine development team do?

A: We develop natural medications such as Stillen and Motiliton. We also develop dietary supplements based on plant extracts. The Korean Pharmaceutical Industry keeps its eye on Dong-A’s research and development facilities as Dong-A succeeded in marketing in-house Stillen.

Most of new drug candidates based on plant extracts come to us. We screen promising candidates to commercialize them. Our research and development project on natural medications has been chosen by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. We want to solidify the R&D base to lead the global market in the future.

Q: Any interesting story about Motiliton?

A: The chance of success in new drug development is only 0.02%. We should spend enormous time and money for that 0.02%. We are used to failures, but Motiliton was a lucky case. We didn’t expect that Motiliton can help dyspepsia by three mechanisms as there had been no such drug. We got convinced about Motiliton after several trials.

Q: What is the most disappointing or exciting moment during new drug development?

A: Once toxicity is found, every effort goes in vain. We had a new drug candidate which was very promising, but we had to give it up due to liver toxicity. All the researchers were disappointed.

On the other hand, the government’s support for our project made us excited. Although we worked overtime till midnight or stayed awake till the next morning, we were proud of our project and never tired. We still say that we enjoyed the hard work for the project on those days. We worked together to achieve our goal and finally made it. It was a precious moment.

Q: What projects do you focus on these days?

A: We plan to export Motiliton to China. As a different set of data is required for new drug application in a different country, we’re reorganizing the current data to meet their requirements. China has higher standards for natural medicine.

The other project is DA-9801 for treatment of diabetic neuropathy. Its effectiveness can be differentiated from existing drugs. We target the global market with DA-9801

Q: Any other projects planned in the future?

A: We want to reach all the markets in Asia, starting with Motiliton in China. We need to standardize our natural medications by ourselves because they haven’t been standardized yet. We also want to develop dietary supplements based on plant extracts.
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