[THE INVESTOR] The South Korean health authorities on Jan. 11 pledged full support for the country’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as part of a continuing push to make the industry the next source of innovation.
“The Ministry of Health and Welfare will expand the R&D budget and increase incentives such as tax reduction for domestically-developed treatments including biobetter, biosimilar and modified drugs,” said Yang Sung-il, director of bureau of health industry at the ministry during a meeting with heads of Korean drug makers.
The government will unveil detailed measures in a new five-year comprehensive plan, aiming to fuel the growth of pharmaceutical industry, which will be announced in the second half of 2017, Yang said.
South Korea aims to become a global biotech and medical industry hub as its manufacturing-driven companies are losing ground to Chinese competitors.
South Korean drug makers have recently been expanding overseas.
In 2015, seven firms including Chongkundang Holdings signed eight of license-out deals worth 2.6 trillion won (US$2.17 billion).
Celltrion’s biosimilar version of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade and SK Chemicals’ hemophilia drug also won approval from US Food and Drug Administration.
With an approval from the FDA to sell its generic version of the carbapenem antibiotic meropenem, Daewoong Pharma too hopes to expand its footing in the US market.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)