Why Korea?

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Why ‘KOREA’ is the perfect place for new drug development


Geographical Advantage
Korea is strategically located at the center for transportation in Northeast Asia
  • 61 cities with a population of more than 1 million within a 3-hour flight from Seoul
  • Korea, Japan and China boast a combined GDP of about $14 trillion
  • Total population of Korea, Japan and China exceeds 1.52 billion, or 22% of the global population, and total trade volume is $5.32 trillion, or 17.6% of total world trade.
  • Established the APEC Harmonization Center (AHC) for regulatory harmonization within ICH guideline.
  • Efforts for Regulatory Harmonization across Korea, China, Japan ? Established AHC(www.apec-ahc.org) and holds tripartite forum to elicit the right policy environment for life sciences innovation.
Government initiatives
The government selected the bio industry as a new growth engine and launched various initiatives to support pharmaceutical industries
  • Government Initiative for Drug Development : The government of the Republic of Korea launched the Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF) in 2011 to transform Korea into the global leader for new drug development with a budget of US$1 billion.
  • State-of?the-art Infrastructures : Korea National Enterprise for Clinical Trials (KoNECT), Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology (KRIBB), Korea Institute of Technology (KIT), Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Two high-tech medical clusters (Osong, Daegu)
Excellence in pharmaceutical R&D
Korea has strong human capital & research capability
  • Large pool of R&D experts : 22,817 workers in the bio industry (36.7% of them having master’s or doctor’s degrees)
  • Strong Competitiveness in Basic Research
    - 28 Korean researchers’ papers related to biotechnology published in the top 3 global science magazines (Nature, Science, Cell)
    - Ranked 5th for number of patents (9,689 patents Statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2010)
    - Registered 520 patents in the bio sector of the United States between 2006 and 2010, and recorded 166 in technology strength, ranking 14th
Competitiveness in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Starting with a major technology transfer which occurred between a global pharmaceutical company and Hanmi, a Korean pharmaceutical company in 2015, 7 companies have transferred 8 technological assets to countries such as Japan and China last year. These companies included △Chong Kun Dang pharmaceutical Corp. △Genexine △Dong-A ST △Crystalgenomics △ILYANG Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd △Hanmi Pharm.Co., Ltd △Korea United Pharm Inc.,. These transfers resulted in a profit of 2.6 trillion dollars in total (the total profit incurring from technology transfers in 2016 is estimated to be close to 3 trillion, including an undisclosed contract).
  • The number of new small businesses and venture companies founded in 2016 increased dramatically, exceeding 440. This was supported by the increased amount of venture capital investments in the bio/medical field and the government’s new policy of entrepreneurship development.
  • A total of 41 corporations have been listed on KOSDAQ, since the introduction of the special listing opportunities scheme for companies with advanced technology in 2005. All of the corporations, except 5; are bio companies in nature (36 corporations, 88%).
  • The U.S. FDA recognizes the Korean pharmaceutical industry as 10th in the world for novel drug approval. Further more, it is recognized as 14th and 23rd for market size and export performance respectively.