South Korean pharmaceutical company Thelma Therapeutics said Friday it has finalized a deal to buy 27 percent stake in Russian medical equipment supplier Bebig for $20 million, in a bid to tap the overseas healthcare market, the Korea Herald reported.
The stake was of NBT, a parent company that wholly owns radio-embolization therapy device developer Bebig, both located in the Dubna Special Economic Zone on the outskirts of Moscow.
Bebig is known for selling the therapy device called Microsphere, used to treat liver cancer — a therapy that combines embolization and radiation.
Thelma said the deal is meant to “enter into the biomedical device business” in Russia. NBT’s net profit in 2019 surged threefold year-on-year to 67.8 million rubles ($877,200).
Thelma bought the shares from Russian lenders Zvezda and Otkritie. If the CBs are converted to shares, Zvezda and Otkrytie will hold a combined 33.94 percent stake in Thelma.
This comes in line with the efforts of Thelma, formerly known as Medipartner Life Science, to turn into a therapy developer. Founded in 1981, Thelma Therapeutics, trading on the nation’s main stock exchange, Kospi, has been dedicated to voucher distribution and dental clinic management service.
But over the past few months, Thelma ushered in plans to develop non-alcoholic steatohepatitis drug candidates. In January, it approved Yoon Byung-hak, who formerly led the development of cancer drug Apatinib for HLB, as an inside board director. Thelma in February announced its partnership with Korean drugmaker Knotus for liver therapy.
Its largest shareholder Medipartner held a 22.6 percent stake in Thelma, as of end-December.