KT Corporation and Hanmi Pharmaceutical promote business cooperation with Digital Pharm, a Korean company specializing in digital treatment digital therapeutics and electroceuticals
KT and Hanmi Pharmaceutical to jointly invest in Digital Pharm, a company specializing in digital therapeutics and electroceuticals
Leading the domestic Korean digital therapeutics (DTx) market through mutual cooperation with Korea’s first ICT technology-medical institution-pharmaceutical company
Accelerated development of DTx related to alcohol and nicotine addiction and heart failure as well as domestic ADHD electroceuticals
SEOUL, South Korea, June 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Digital platform company KT Corporation (CEO Koo Hyun-mo; www.kt.com) and Hanmi Pharmaceutical (CEO Woo Jong-su, Kwon Se-chang), a pharmaceutical company specializing in R&D-focused new drug development, have co-invested in Digital Pharm, a company specializing in DTx and electroceuticals. The companies announced on June 19, 2022 that KT and Hanmi completed their investments in Digital Pharm and held a launch ceremony.
This business alliance is the first case in which Korea’s leading information and communication technology (ICT) companies, pharmaceutical companies, and medical institutions have partnered to exploit their respective capabilities. Digital Pharm, a subsidiary of Catholic University of Korea Technology Holding Company, was founded in November 2021 by Professor Kim Dai-jin of Catholic University’s Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital.
In the future, KT plans to develop a digital treatment platform, establish business strategies for the new company, and build a pipeline of digital treatment devices and electroceuticals. Hanmi will establish digital therapeutics B2H (business to hospital) and sales and marketing strategies to activate the nascent digital therapeutics prescription market. KT and Hanmi plan to drive additional value through strategic licenses.
Digital Pharm’s ongoing business will be to discover new DTx pipelines in various disease areas and support the clinical research infrastructure essential for commercial development. It is scheduled to start a confirmatory clinical trial in the second half of the year for an addiction-related digital treatment e-medication targeting alcohol and nicotine, which is currently under development. In addition, Digital Pharm will focus on developing digital therapies for various diseases, such as hearing loss and dysphagia, and the platforms to allow them to be used remotely.
The prospects for the digital therapeutics market are bright. The global digital therapeutics market is growing at an average annual rate of 23% and is expected to reach US$17.3 billion (22.4 trillion Korean won) by 2028. As the domestic digital therapeutics market is still in its infancy, it is expected that Digital Pharm, a company specializing in digital therapeutics, will play a leading role in the market.
KT is also conducting an exploratory clinical trial for a digital therapeutic to treat chronic heart failure, and expects to see results within the year. In addition, it is planning to target the domestic market by securing a commercial license for NeuroSigma’s FDA-cleared digital therapeutic device targeting attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and potentially other disorders such as epilepsy.
Previously, KT has shown an intention to expand its digital healthcare business by investing $5 million in NeuroSigma in December 2021. NeuroSigma is the developer of the Monarch eTNS (external trigeminal nerve stimulation) device, which received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance as an electroceutical for the field of pediatric ADHD. NeuroSigma is working to expand the use of the Monarch eTNS device beyond ADHD, to include other neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and drug-resistant epilepsy. KT and NeuroSigma are cooperating to advance the development and commercialization of the next-generation of eTNS products in Korea, and are planning to partner with Digital Pharm as well.
“I believe KT and Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Korea’s leading companies in ICT and pharmaceuticals, can create synergy to lead the future digital healthcare market,” said Song Jae-ho, Head of KT’s AI/DX convergence business division. “KT not only will focus on building a leading digital therapeutics platform, but also will share know-how in building strategic plans and pipelines in both the digital therapeutics and electroceuticals areas to successfully let Digital Pharm lead both domestic and foreign markets.”
Checkmate Capital Group has served as strategic advisor in relation to the digital health partnership, licensing and strategic investments involving NeuroSigma. “We find the Digital Pharm collaboration involving KT, Hanmi Pharmaceutical and Catholic University, the largest hospital in Korea, to be a powerful and innovative combination of leaders in important fields. We expect their unprecedented collaboration to catapult digital and electroceutical therapies to the front lines of critical CNS treatments. These treatments offer non-invasive, non-drug alternatives to high-risk surgeries and potentially harmful drugs,” said Jay Ryu, Managing Director of Checkmate Capital Group.
About KT Corporation (KRX:030200; NYSE:KT)
KT Corporation, an international digital telecommunications company, reestablished in 1981 under the Telecommunications Business Act, is leading the era of innovation in the world's most connected country. The company is leading the fourth industrial revolution with high-speed wire/wireless networks and new ICT technology. KT has selected Digital Health, AI, Big Data, Cloud, and Robot as its next leading businesses. This is another milestone in KT's continuous efforts to deliver essential products and services as it aspires to be DIGICO KT. For more information about KT Corporation, please visit www.kt.com.
About Checkmate Capital
Checkmate Capital is an investment and strategic advisory group managing family office assets with a global commercial and financial network. Checkmate Capital's primary areas of investment are biotechnology, agriculture and waste technology, and energy technology. Our team is able to provide seasoned expertise in our focused industries, leveraging an international group of strategic partners, business talent, and resources. For more information, visit www.checkmatecapital.net.