NeuroMetrix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NURO), a medical device company focused on the diagnosis and treatment of the neurological complications of diabetes, announced that it has entered an agreement with Handok Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Under terms of the agreement, Handok will be the exclusive distributor for NC-stat® DPNCheck™ in the Republic of Korea. NC-stat DPNCheck is a rapid, accurate and quantitative point-of-care test for diabetic neuropathy. The product is used to detect neuropathy at an early stage and to guide treatment. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is the most common complication of diabetes, affecting over half of people with diabetes. DPN causes significant morbidity including pain, increased risk of falling in the elderly, and is the primary trigger for diabetic foot ulcers which may require lower extremity amputations.
The Korea market is characterized by high prevalence of people with diabetes. The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), a nationwide survey examining the general health and nutrition status of the Korean people, reported in 2008 that the prevalence of diabetes in the Korea population was estimated at 10.9% representing about 2.6 million people. While the overall prevalence had not changed significantly during the seven year study period, physician diagnosis and treatment rates had significantly improved. Handok Pharmaceuticals has been a leader in supporting physicians in this field and considers diabetes to be a core business focus. It offers a range of diabetes products including systems for hemoglobin A1c testing, blood glucose meters, and pharmacological products for pain associated with nerve disease. Handok distributes its products through direct sales representatives in its hospital and physician clinic sales teams. It also works with independent distributors in Korea. It intends to utilize both direct and indirect sales channels in promoting NC-stat DPNCheck.
"As a company that values innovation in health care, we are pleased to have the opportunity to bring the diagnostic capabilities NC-stat DPNCheck to the Korea market,” stated Young-jin Kim, Handok’s CEO. “It broadens the range of products we offer to Koreans with diabetes while leveraging our established sales channels. We look forward to a long relationship with NeuroMetrix.”