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        LG Chem’s infertility treatment: LG Chem supports couples until the cherished moment of new life comes.

        2024. 02. 07

        Until the joyous arrival of a new life, the journey to parenthood may demand extra effort for some. LG Chem is here to support couples struggling with infertility until the cherished moment of new life comes. LG Chem’s Specialty Care business department, under the Life Sciences company, carries out their business covering 3 disease areas. Infertility (From pregnancy to delivery), Vaccine (Compulsory vaccinations after delivery), and Growth Hormone. These 3 areas can be considered as one big cycle, from pregnancy to the baby’s growth. Today, we introduce the starting point of this cycle, which is the infertility treatment.

        You do not fight infertility alone.

        Growing trend of global infertility rate

        Countless couples around the world suffer infertility. According to the <Infertility Prevalence Estimates, 1990-2021> published by WHO in April 2023, about 17.5% of adult population have experienced infertility in their lives. As WHO defines, infertility is a disease that causes failure of pregnancy after 1 year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse. Infertility affects not just the couple, but also the families and local society around them. Along with low birth rate and aging, infertility is perceived as no longer an individual problem but rather a social one. With the rise of infertile population, the global infertility treatment market is also expecting a rapid growth. According to Markets and Markets, the sales of global infertility treatment market was estimated at $1.5 billion in 2021, and is expected to grow at average 8.1% per year until it reaches $2.2 billion in 2026.

        The price of medicine varies by country; thus the market size is estimated by the number of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment cases. In 2019, about 3 million cases were reported around the world. 39 European nations took up 30% of the total cases, another 30% reported in China, followed by 25% in America and Japan, and the remaining 15% came from other nations. As of 2023, LG Chem is carrying out direct and indirect infertility treatment business in 15 countries including Korea.

        Follitrope, LG Chem’s infertility treatment

        Follitrope, LG Chem’s infertility treatment

        In 1993, LG Chem marked the start of their business by launching 2 types of infertility treatment. At that time, there was a challenge of converting complex protein into the form of medicine, and only 2 to 3 companies in the whole world could develop or produce infertility treatments. Even now, considering that only 3 global companies are developing and supplying infertility treatments, we can assume that LG Chem had a high level of R&D capacity from the initial stage of the business.

        Since launching the first treatment, so far LG Chem has launched 7 products. In 2021, Follitrope, the company’s key brand, completed its registration and began its sales in China, who occupies 30% of the global infertility treatment market. Follitrope is a Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), which induces superovulation to develop numerous follicles. Currently, Follitrope is preparing to accelerate its growth in the Chinese market, through activities including academic marketing such as clinical research and reinforcing networks with the local Key Opinion Leaders (KOL).

        Constant strengthening of business competence

        LG Chem’s external fertilization treatment portfolio

        To strengthen their infertility treatment business competence, LG Chem is enlarging their portfolio to meet the latest treatment trends and also attempting overseas expansion.

        Under the infertility sector, where the company is currently focusing on, LG Chem intends to provide a Total Solution to customers by enlarging their portfolio. IVF treatment includes injection of various medicines within a short period of time. In the past, the biggest purpose of this procedure was to collect numerous eggs, and medicines were used mostly to induce superovulation. Later, researches proved that implantation of fertilized eggs and pregnancy maintenance were also important factors of a successful pregnancy, which led to rapid development and use of related medicines. In line with such latest treatment trends, LG Chem has started R&D in order to expand and strengthen their portfolio, not just focusing on superovulation but also to include pregnancy maintenance. Furthermore, the company is improving the usability and safety of existing products, as well as improving the production·quality. LG Chem plans to enter the Korean market in 2025, and proceed to advanced markets including the United States.

        Leap to be a Global Top Player in Women Healthcare

        LG Chem is examining ways to enhance their Global Market Presence, not just strengthening the competence of their existing business but also preparing for the future.

        LG Chem intends to strengthen the existing products and portfolio within the infertility treatment sector, and keep enlarging the business. Based on this, the company has set up a long-to-mid-term vision of expanding their business into Women Healthcare, and entering global advanced markets including the United States. Women Healthcare is a broad field which covers various diseases across women’s whole life cycle. Based on the connectivity with LG Chem’s existing infertility business and needs of patients and specialists, the company has set the direction of expanding their business targeted at uterine diseases. Since there is no treatment that directly targets at uterine diseases, and the global demand for such a treatment is high, LG Chem’s move is expected to have positive impacts on the market.

        LG Chem’s Women Healthcare business direction

        In 2023, LG Chem received advice from experts and carried out Scrum activities for 4 months with the research center and 12 teams from the relevant departments. This was to explore candidate products that can drive future growth. The company excavated 9 tasks under 3 main categories – “Develop products with improved performances,” “Develop/introduce treatments targeted at causes of diseases,” and “Develop innovated medicines that can suggest new treatment directions” – and is establishing plans to get these tasks into action successively.

        Through this year’s Scrum activities, LG Chem learned that the company’s directions reflect the needs of medical specialists, and confirmed the possibility of realizing those plans based on their research capacities. During the discussion, specialists expressed their high expectation for LG Chem, with comments such as, “We could see that LG Chem is not confining themselves to the existing market, but differentiating their directions and goals in depth,” or “LG Chem is different from other companies.” Hearing customers’ high expectations led to higher motivation and a strong sense of duty.

        LG Chem is preparing to take a leap as Global no.1 company in Women Healthcare. Until our plans are implemented and realized, we will keep up the efforts to make better lives for our customers, based on our technology and sense of duty.

        *This article is a contribution from Choi Seong-deok (Leader of Marketing 3 team of Specialty Care).

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