South Korean regulators have cleared BASF to produce pharmaceutical grade omega-3 at its facility in Scotland.
The approval follows a Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) inspection of the German chemical giant’s BASF Pharma Callanish omega-3 unit on the Isle of Lewis and increases its presence in a key market according to spokesman Andres-Christian Orthofer.
He told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: “South Korea has an interesting omega-3 drug market both in terms of volume and value and we see opportunities to further grow the market with new omega-3 drug products.”
BASF already has ‘significant’ pharmaceutical-grade omega-3 sales in the country according to Orthofer continued, explaining that this was largely due to its recent acquisition, Norway-based manufacturer Pronova Biopharma .
One of the things that makes South Korea such an interesting market for BASF is 2012 legislation recommending that Koreans consume at least 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day as part of a healthy diet, which is roughly eight times the minimum daily amount advised in Europe.
Omega-3 Pharma growth
The South Korean approval is part of a wider BASF effort to grow its pharmaceutical omega-3 fatty acid business globally that began with its purchase of Equateq and the Callanish facility in May last year.
Alan Poon, Head of BASF Pharma Ingredients & Services in Asia Pacific said: “We expect approvals in other Asian markets to follow, as we broaden our offering of omega-3 concentrates for the pharmaceutical sector even further.”
Orthofer echoed this, explaining that: “The market for omega-3 based drugs is relatively young with only a few drugs approved in a few countries.
“Therefore, there are many opportunities globally to obtain regulatory approvals for existing omega-3 drugs and for future products.”