The Korean Bio-heath Industry Growing To Global Expansion

The global pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry, according to the IBISWorld, a global market research firm, has posted consistent growth over the five years due to a globally aging population and a growing middle class in emerging economies. It was boosted by the global pandemic and underpinned by competitive investment and regulatory reorganization supported by each government.

As for the Korean bio-health industry, over the past 30 years there has been marvelous advancement in new drug research and development. Nowadays super rookies within seven years after its launch also stand out. As the Korean government puts strong support for future industries including the bio-health sector, the growth continues.

Bio-health companies receive major priority focus in South Korea

The South Korean government eyes boosting 쁁IG 3 industries, which means the fastest growing industries for expansion including system semiconductors, next-generation automobiles, and bio-health. The Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) in Korea launched a strategic plan to provide concentrated support for the chosen 250 startups and SMEs혻 across priority sectors. The government set aside $ 5.3 billion of its budget this year for the plan.

The 쁁IG 3 project offers on-demand support by different managing agencies. The project intends to put weights on the entire range of support, from research & development, commercialization, financial funding, technical support, and global expansion. With the purpose of facilitating the growth of innovative enterprises, the specialized managing agencies also establish strong consultation infrastructure and collaboration among industry, academia and specialists by drawing on the expertise of the both technology and business field.

Korea Institute of Toxicology as a main player for supporting biotechnology companies

The Korea Institute of Toxicology (hereafter, KIT), one of the managing agencies for the 쁁IG 3 project, acted as a cornerstone for by supporting 56 enterprises in the biomedical sectors in lockstep with 300 specialists last year. KIT, headquartered in Daejeon, is a government-funded research institute which specializes in the safety evaluation of chemicals, medicines, agricultural pesticides, health-related functional foods, food additives and cosmetics, and the research on adjacent industries. As a cluster of cutting-edge biotechnology research, KIT has been serving as a pillar for enhancing the safety of the people and supporting an innovative growth of the nation셲 industries through toxicology research for the development of future technology. KIT stimulates and manages the flow of knowledge and technology amongst the companies, markets, specialists, and academia, which empowers biotechnology at the heart of the technological revolution. As research and development is pivotal to the biomedical sector, KIT, furnished with latest equipment, is going all-out in its technical supports such as toxicity evaluation and analysis on newly-developed drug candidates for the selected enterprises.

In its own unique setting, enterprises under the support of KIT addressed profound challenges in the global biomedical industry last year, achieving investments of about $ 324 million, sales of about $ 33 million, and obtaining 369 intellectual property rights. For instance, in 2021, Pinotbio Inc. obtained or applied for 52 patents, and so did MD Healthcare Inc. and BioLeaders Corp. respectively 27 and 18 patents.

Some nurturing companies could expand their collaborative business model with main players in the Korean biomedicine industry. Rudacure Co., Ltd, a biotech focusing on ocular disease treatments, has signed an agreement for collaborative research with Hanlim Pharm Co., Ltd which is one of the largests pharmaceutical companies in Korea. YiPSCELL Inc., which develops treatment drugs utilizing induced pluripotent stem cells, and G2GBIO Inc., a biotech with a proprietary drug delivery system, navigating its business model in collaboration with bigger biotechs.

Winnings in technology competitions or other governmental-funding programmes were followed, too. For cases in point, VSPharm Tech Co., Ltd, which received an approval for the Phase 1 clinical trial for a radiosensitizer for head and neck cancer, VS-101, by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, successfully won various additional governmental-funding programmes. CELLnLIFE Inc., a stem cell treatment company, won six different recognitions for being the outstanding biotechnology company, and Organoid Science Co., Ltd was awarded two Minister Prizes. Three promising biotechs, Innovo Therapeutics Inc., Lmito Therapeutics Inc., and AVENTI Inc., were also selected for the large-scale government programmes including the Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF), showing off its potential for further developments. DNBIO Pharm, Inc., developing preventive vaccines and therapeutic drugs for mucosa related diseases and illnesses, such as pneumonia and asthma, is getting funded for its development by being selected in six governmental funding programmes.

Support to take Korean biomedical industry to global stage

The global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry is at the corner of its strong innovation momentum. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the importance of the industry’s innovation and economic model as the vaccine supply shortages which the whole global population went through shifted the focus in the collaborative effort between diverse stakeholders for efficient supply, manufacture and distribution. Strategic partnership models will contribute to establishing key parts of the industry’s value chain, by successfully developing, testing, and disseminating new knowledge and medicines to usher a new era for growth in the industry.

Korea has risen as an emerging powerhouse in Asian area, proving its potential as a key contributor in global biomedical innovation. After many trials, highly-educated and experienced manpower and sterling passion for new drug development have reached its culmination despite disadvantages in comparison with advanced nations – such as small domestic market size and lack of experience in the global market.

KIT intensively supports enterprises which can break ground in the global biomedical or pharmaceutical industry, providing consultations on overseas expansion, global certification of clinical tests and international technology transfer. Under the support, enterprises could stably navigate the strategic cooperation based on the in-depth market analysis. By way of example, ONCOCROSS Co., Ltd, developing new drugs utilizing artificial intelligence, has launched its local corporation in Brisbane, Australia, and at once is taking part in two accelerating programmes including 쁆O AUSTRIA funded by Austrian government and UC Berkeley accelerator programme. Leveraging these accomplishments, the company has passed technical approval for IPO listing.

Genome & Company, a company newly listed in KOSDAQ, is edging its way into global market; including a joint research with global drug maker, Debiopharm, in Feb 2021,혻 finalization of supply agreement of antitumor microbiome treatment (GEN-001) with Merck KGaA and PFizer in March 2021, and takeover contract of US CMDO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) in Sept 2021. Furthermore, CONNEXT Co., Ltd has submitted for IND (Investigational New Drug) application for clinical trials in the U.S. and TiumBio Co., Ltd has approved Phase 2 clinical trials in Italy, Poland, and Czecho with its endometriosis treatments.

Another brilliant news: Lmtio Therapeutics Inc. signed confidential disclosure agreements with three global drugmakers and a material transfer agreement with an American biomedical material firm. Rudacure Co., Ltd also completed corporation registration in the U.S. last August. NeuroVIS Inc. is also in the process of collaborating with Stanley Medical Research Institute in Rockville, Maryland. ExoCoBio Co., Ltd and BioLeaders Corp. achieved respectively $7 million and 1.37 million exports.

KIT received good reviews from the nurturing companies, illustrating that special consultations on the global market were totally helpful for their business navigation. In parallel with governmental support, KIT셲 great effort will contribute to ramping up the further growth and global competitiveness of the Korean bio-health industry.




Kayla Hong


Asia Journal