AVEO Oncology, a Boston-based oncology company acquired by LG Chem for USD 571 million, has laid out a blueprint to become a global top 20 oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company within five years. With LG Chem's full support, AVEO plans to boost its existing oncology business significantly and to become an innovative oncology company that can exert significant influence in the global markets.
LG Chem executives attended AVEO Oncology's annual all company meeting in Florida on February 28 to communicate face-to-face with approximately 130 AVEO employees. CEO Shin, in his first trip to the U.S. since the completion of the AVEO Oncology acquisition, was accompanied by 20 executives and employees of LG Chem including: Dr. Son Jeewoong, president of LG Chem Life Sciences.
AVEO Oncology's annual all company meeting is a company-wide program that brings together all employees to share the previous year's performance and the company's business strategy, followed by sales team workshops. This year's event was held at Luminary Hotel & Co. in Fort Myers, Florida from February 27- March 2. The LG Chem representatives, all in navy blue hoodies sporting the new "AVEO Oncology, an LG Chem company" logo, were greeted with warm cheers and applause as they were introduced on the stage. Mr. Shin, Dr. Son and AVEO president and CEO Michael P. Bailey spoke to the crowd, focusing on mid- and long-term strategies and building consensus around the companies' integrated vision.
Mr. Bailey opened the session with the combined companies' vision and strategy to become a top 20 player in the global oncology market by 2028. Maintaining the agile decision-making structure of AVEO Oncology, AVEO plans to expand its oncology portfolio by investing in own clinical development programs and introducing additional FDA-approved oncology drugs or late-stage clinical development programs targeting US market to significantly expand presence in a short period of time. AVEO's renal cell carcinoma treatment FOTIVDA® (Tivozanib) has been in the market since 2021, with sales of over USD 100 million in the previous year. Sales are expected to rise to USD 170 million this year and over USD 300 million by 2027, and the growth is expected to further accelerate with the introduction of additional pipelines.
"We are fully prepared to lead AVEO's growth to the next level," said CEO Shin. "Let us together make the leap to build a leading oncology company that continues to provide innovative solutions to improve the lives of cancer patients around the world."
Mr. Shin then announced the largest-ever R&D investment plan in the Korean pharmaceutical and biotech industries in the form of more than USD 300 million investment in the integrated Life Sciences-AVEO operation. Starting from this year, LG Chem will invest more than USD 1.5 billion toward R&D in the Life Sciences division over the next five years.
Dr. Son followed with the announcement of a plan to enhance the competitiveness of AVEO's new drug pipeline in the U.S. oncology market. The plan would be to develop AVEO into an innovative pharma company that consistently and continuously introduces new drugs in the broader North American market. Through this strategy, AVEO would have the best chance to take the lead in developing and commercializing new anti-cancer drugs, while LG Chem could further strengthen AVEO's existing capabilities to grow into a global pharmaceutical company.
Currently, AVEO is conducting clinical development of three new drug candidates: a phase 3 clinical trial to expand the indication of its existing kidney cancer drug FOTIVDA®; a treatment for head and neck cancer; a treatment for cachexia, a nutritional disorder in cancer patients. Promising anti-cancer candidates from LG Chem Life Sciences will be transferred expeditiously to AVEO who will then take charge of late-stage clinical development and commercialization in the U.S. market.
As a testament to its commitment to growing its biopharma capabilities, LG Chem has been pursuing M&As in pharmaceutical and biotech companies since 2019. To minimize the time and effort required to launch a new drug in the U.S. oncology market, LG Chem decided to acquire an existing company with an established commercial platform. After reviewing hundreds of companies with relevant commercialization capabilities and experience in the U.S., LG Chem shortlisted a few candidates. AVEO Oncology, which had just launched a new drug and was on the verge of breaking out, was the top candidate. Since early 2022, LG Chem's business development team set up operations in Boston, Massachusetts to facilitate better communication with AVEO. LG Chem worked to convince AVEO management of a sustainable growth roadmap based on stable internal investment and discussions picked up speed in the second half of the year. The two companies continued to meet back and forth between the U.S. and Korea and in October, the deal was announced.
The global oncology market is one of the leading sectors of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and is expected to reach USD 315 billion by 2026, up from USD 190 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4%. The U.S. currently accounts for more than 40% of this market.
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