Celltrion and Korea Development Bank
Create Fund Valued at KRW 220 Billion
Expected to Develop an Innovative Ecosystem for Korea’s Bio Industry
On September 18, Celltrion and Korea Development Bank (KDB) signed an MOU to create an innovative ecosystem for the bio industry. The signing ceremony, held at the Celltrion headquarters in Songdo International City, was attended by some 40 guests, among them: Celltrion Chairman Jeongjin Seo, CEO and Vice Chairman Woosung Kee, Celltrion Healthcare CEO and Vice Chairman Hyeong-gi Kim, KDB Chairman and CEO Lee Dong Gull, Executive Director Oh Jin-gyo, and Director Seo Seong-ho.
With this MOU, Celltrion and KDB agreed to work together to identify prospective SMEs in the bio healthcare industry and to provide practical support for startups. The two organizations will create a fund of KRW 200 billion to foster a perfect ecosystem for the bio healthcare industry and will cooperate to identify and guarantee investments for prospective startups. Their joint program will begin with the creation of a KRW 20 billion fund for mutual growth.
The two parties will also make joint efforts to successfully implement Celltrion’s ‘Vision 2030’ plan, under which the bio company will invest a total of KRW 40 trillion by the year 2030: KRW 25 trillion in the biopharmaceutical industry, KRW
5 trillion in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and
KRW 10 trillion in the U-healthcare industry. To this end, KDB will take advantage of its venture investment platform while working together with government-funded and university-run research institutes, offering full support for the development and commercialization of technologies by Celltrion and other venture enterprises.
Chairman Jeongjin Seo of Celltrion said, “When combined with KDB’s substantial financial support programs, Celltrion’s expertise in global market growth will lay the solid foundation for venture companies to gain international competitiveness and grow into unicorns in their respective industries. With this MOU, Celltrion will become actively involved in the efforts to develop Korea’s bio industry and identify and grow prospective companies while transferring its expertise so that Korea can become a leading player in the global bio market.”
KDB Chairman and CEO Lee Dong Gull said, “This MOU will serve as the initial case of cooperation between a global bio company and Korea’s major policy financing institution. We will provide a wide range of financial support for expansion and meaningful growth in the bio industry ecosystem and will help this innovative ecosystem take root in Korea.”
Celltrion and Samsung BioLogics Expand Their Sales into Overseas Markets
- ‘Herzuma,’ for treatment of breast and stomach cancers, biosimilar developed by Celltrion
- Autoimmune disease treatment drug Brensis, developed by Samsung BioLogics
Celltrion and Samsung BioLogics, the two leaders of Korea’s bio industry, are set to begin sales in North and South America, respectively. Recently, Celltrion has been approved by Health Canada to sell Herzuma, its biosimilar drug for treatment of breast and stomach cancers. Herzuma is a biosimilar of Herceptin, an original drug developed by Genentech and distributed by Roche.
Herceptin is a blockbuster drug that recorded KRW 8.7 trillion in annual revenue last year. Its revenue in the North American market alone amounted to a whopping KRW 3.5 trillion. Herzuma gained approval based on three indications: early-stage breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, and metastatic stomach cancer.
A Celltrion official stated, “Celltrion began its sales in Canada in 2014 with approval for selling Remsima and was also approved in April to sell Truxima.” He added, “As three of our biosimilar products have been approved in both the US and Canada, we will do our best to offer high-quality biopharmaceutical products for North American patients.”
Meanwhile, Samsung BioLogics is set to expand its operation into Brazil, the largest pharmaceutical market in Latin America. The Korean bio company has completed a partnership agreement with the Brazilian Ministry of Health to sell Brensis, its drug for treatment of autoimmune disorders, and has begun sales of the drug. With this agreement, Samsung BioLogics will supply the drug for the initial 10 years, after which time it will receive royalties for a certain percentage of the revenue for 10 years.