[THE INVESTOR] Korea’s botullinum toxin maker Medytox has set up a venture capital firm to invest in early-stage biotechnology companies, an industry source said on Aug.30.
Medytox CEO Jung Hyun-ho will head the new arm named Medytox Venture Investment which was registered last week with 10.1 billion won (US$9 million) initial capital.
The move is seen to be a part of the company’s plan to shift its drug development focus from anti-wrinkle treatment and dermal fillers to a wider spectrum of therapies such as antibody treatment and oncology drugs, as well as obesity and arthritis treatments.
“The venture firm plans to seek out startups that can create synergy with Medytox,” an industry source familiar with the matter told The Investor.
In May, Medytox invested 2 billion won in antifungal drug maker AmtixBio, founded in 2015. Treatment in these areas have been catering to a growing market of aging population in Korea. Medytox Venture Investment will now be handling the investment.
Kim Sung-woo, former senior pharma and biotech analyst at Samsung Securities, joined Medytox Venture Investment to help Jung deal with investment decisions and sort out details.
Medytox has been making bold steps recently to seek out new growth engines. On Aug. 23, the company opened a research and development center in Gwanggyo, Gyeonggi Province, that will serve as the science hub for the company and help it to build a specialty pharma pipeline. Jung pledged to double the number of researchers to 200 at the opening ceremony.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)