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THE INVESTOR

Bio & Medicine

Korean drugmakers seek opportunities at JPMorgan conference

  • PUBLISHED :January 08, 2017 - 16:42
  • UPDATED :January 08, 2017 - 16:42
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[THE INVESTOR] In search of new partnerships, foreign investment and promotional opportunities, South Korea’s top biopharmaceutical companies will partake in the 35th J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, which kicks off Monday in San Francisco.

The annual four-day event is the world’s largest and oldest health care symposium. It brings together the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies and investors to discuss the latest industry trends and seek out new drug candidates and technologies.

In Korea, the conference garnered particularly high attention in 2015, as Hanmi Pharmaceutical was able to clinch a mega licensing deal with Sanofi for a set of long-lasting diabetes treatments after presenting their effects at the symposium that year.




At this year’s event, global drugmakers will once again search for new assets and be on the lookout for investment opportunities. Biotech investors will be on the lookout for companies’ earnings guidance and updates on drug developments.

In addition, this year’s forum is expected to zero in on the changes that President-elect Donald Trump and his health care policies will have on the US, the world’s biggest market for pharmaceutical products.

Korea’s leading biopharma companies, including Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Green Cross, Yuhan, Samsung BioLogics, Celltrion and Seegene will host sessions at the event this week.

Each company is slated to present their business agenda for the year, outline the latest research and development pushing their drug pipelines, and obtain a sense of where the global pharmaceutical market is headed in 2017.

Samsung BioLogics CEO Kim Tae-han is scheduled to give a presentation on the second day of the conference Tuesday. Samsung BioLogics, which went public in November 2016, is a contract drug manufacturer, which produces biologic drugs on behalf of clients.

“It will be an opportunity for us to present our company to global investors and encourage new investment,” a Samsung BioLogics spokesperson said.

“We will mostly focus on explaining our standout production capabilities, which is closely linked to our ability to quickly build and optimize our production plants,” he added.

Green Cross CEO Huh Eun-chul is slated to share the company’s drug development pipelines and business outlook for 2017, the company said. Green Cross Holdings President Rhee Byung-geon will also be at the event, it added.

Korean analysts expect new developments from the conference to restore investor trust in the global health care sector, and in turn boost demand for local biotech and pharma stocks that have been hard hit by negative events in the industry over the past few months.

“Every year, the JP Morgan Health Conference has always led to an upturn in the global health care sector,” said Hana Financial Securities analyst Kim Yong-gu in a recent report.

“We expect the event will act as a trigger for helping Korean biotech and pharma shares recover from the losses they took last year from damaged investor trust,” he said.

By Sohn Ji-young/The Korea Herald (jys@heraldcorp.com)
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