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THE INVESTOR

Bio & Medicine

Sanofi, Bayer out to discover promising Korean health care startups

  • PUBLISHED :March 13, 2017 - 17:27
  • UPDATED :March 13, 2017 - 17:36
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[THE INVESTOR] Faced with rising pressure to increase their research and development productivity, global pharmaceutical giants are looking to partner with biotechnology and health care startups for drug and technology development. 

The move comes as some of the world’s biggest pharma companies embrace “open innovation,” moving away from a closed, centralized R&D model and collaborating with external research institutes, smaller companies and individuals.




French drugmaker Sanofi is reportedly searching for startups worldwide, including those from South Korea, with innovative ideas in the field of telemedicine to attend this year’s Paris-based Viva Technology conference scheduled for June.

Viva Technology is an annual event participated by startups and large companies to form new collaborations and relationships. Sanofi is one of the big business partners backing the conference.

Startups that take part in the conference as Sanofi partners will be given opportunities to introduce their businesses to key industry figures and receive business mentoring, according to media reports.

Bayer Korea, the local office of German drugmaker Bayer, is looking for local digital health care startups to join its startup incubation program “Grants4Apps Korea,” co-organized with the state-run Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. 

Three startups selected for the program will be invited into Bayer Korea’s office to undergo business consulting and mentorship from the company as well as other industry officials for three months starting in May, Bayer Korea said.

“Bayer decided to bring its open innovation program to Korea to contribute to the advancement of the local life sciences sector and digital innovations,” said Bayer Korea CEO Ingrid Drechsel in a statement. 

“The startups will be invited into the Bayer Korea headquarters to receive business support across all parts of (their) business for three months,” she added.

Boehringer Ingelheim Korea, in partnership with Ashoka Korea, an international nonprofit organization that promotes social entrepreneurship, is looking for firms to take part in its “Making More Health Change Maker” project.

The project aims to discover individuals and companies that can provide innovative solutions to Korea’s biggest health care challenges and make a positive impact on society. 

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