[Source: JW Pharmaceutical]
Major Korean biotech names have eagerly turned to open innovation with overseas partners in various forms and functions for faster access to innovative molecules and global markets.
On July 13, JW Pharmaceutical signed an R&D partnership with ARCH Venture Partners, one of the three largest venture capital firms in the United States in yet another unprecedented approach to open innovation following its joint research agreement for oncology with Singapore`s research and science agency A*STAR in 2018.
This is the first time that a Korean pharmaceutical company has joined hands with a U.S. bio-healthcare VC to tap open basic research for novel drug exploration.
Korean biopharma industry has been engaging open innovation in various ways such as leveraging on respective strength for joint research and technology acquisition through equity investment, according to market sources on Monday.
Daewoong Pharmaceutical last year made a joint investment with Alloplex Biotherapeutics, a privately-owned Boston-based cellular therapeutics company, to speed up the development of immunotherapy in cancer treatment.
GC Pharma, another Korean pharmaceutical company, jumped into a joint program with U.S.-based Speragen last year to develop a medicine to treat succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (SSADHD), a rare autosomal recessive disorder.
[Photo by ARCH Venture Partners]
Some have been adding overseas subsidiaries to specifically seek open innovation. Ildong Pharmaceutical is preparing for the establishment of Ildong USA Innovation Center (IUIC) dedicated to global open innovation. Yuhan already founded Yuhan Hong Kong in 2019 to explore companies and research institutes for open innovation.
The public sector has also been eager in the field. In June, Korea Bio Innovation Center launched by Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) under the Ministry of Health and Welfare started its activity at Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) located in Kendall Square, Boston. CIC, located in nine regions across the U.S. is home to 7,500 companies from around the world for various open innovation projects. GC Pharma, Daewoong Pharmaceutical, Yuhan USA, and Hanmi Pharmaceutical are among the major Korean tenant companies here.
By Kim Si-gyun and Minu Kim
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