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(LEAD) SK Biopharmaceuticals Q3 net loss widens due to higher costs

All News 14:22 November 12, 2020

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; ADDS more details throughout)

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- SK Biopharmaceuticals Co., a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea's SK Group, said Thursday its net loss widened in the third quarter from a year earlier on higher costs.

Net loss came to 63.1 billion won (US$56.7 million) for the July-September period, compared with red ink of 50.2 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The company posted an operating loss of 63 billion won for the last quarter, compared with a 50.5 billion won loss a year earlier. Sales, however, shot up 4,704 percent to 3.9 billion won.

SK Biopharmaceuticals said its net loss widened due to increased research and other costs. The company spent 66.6 billion won on selling and administrative expenses in the third quarter, up 13 percent from three months earlier.

The corporate logo of SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. (Yonhap)

The company has been ramping up efforts to develop new drugs. Last month, SK Biopharmaceuticals completed a phase-1 local clinical trial for a candidate anti-schizophrenia drug.

SK Biopharmaceuticals plans to initiate a phase 3 clinical trial for its cenobamate anti-epileptic drug in South Korea, Japan and China early next year.

The company said its explosive sales growth was driven by brisk shipments of the anti-epileptic medicine and higher royalty fees from exports of technology for its sleep disorder drug solriamfetol to Jazz Pharmaceuticals.

In the third quarter, Jazz Pharmaceuticals sold $9.1 million worth of the sleep disorder drug, which debuted in the United States in July last year. The company launched the drug in Germany in May this year and Denmark in October, while seeking to begin its sales in France, Britain and other major European countries within one and a half years.

In early July this year, SK Biopharmaceuticals made a high-profile debut on the domestic stock market, attracting keen interest from investors.

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