Bio & Interview
Putting heads together for innovation and
The world’s biosimilar market recorded USD 9.7 billion in sales in 2017 and is expected to grow to reach USD 48.1 billion in 2023. Mr. Min Byoung Jo, Representative Director CEO of DM Bio, and Mr. Kim Se Jun, Head of the IFEZ Investment Opportunity Headquarters, sat down to discuss the present and future of the bioindustry.
Min Byoung Jo, DM Bio (Left) | Kim Se Jun, IFEZ (Right)
Korea’s Dong-a Socio Group and Japanese Meiji Seika Pharma joined to form DM Bio, starting its first round of production in 2015. DM Bio received industrial attention from its birth, recognized for the joint venture between Korean and Japanese representative pharmaceutical companies. In its not-too-long business history, DM Bio has already secured quality standards to meet FDA and EU GMP requirements. Backed by secured investments during its investment term, it is expected to actively enter the market and achieve high sales as of 2020. DM Bio, which runs a medical contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) business, started producing two products specialized for the Japanese market since entering the country in 2019.
What is the reason for Songdo’s bioindustry?
Kim : First of all, geographical factors have shown a great impact. The city is in close vicinity to both Incheon International Airport and Seoul, making business operations convenient. The developed infrastructure was also favorable as the site of Koreas first free economic zone. When the company was designated a site in the Bio Cluster, large companies like Samsung BioLogics and Celltrion moved in. Next, other companies and supply chains began building up a tightly populated ecosystem.
Min : I was engaged in practical management as the team manager from DM Bio’s establishment stage. In considering the location, we were able to make an immediate conclusion when we saw Songdo. Of course, the infrastructure is excellent, but there was also the advantage of hiring excellent human resources. Incheon City and the IFEZ provided great support. In addition, we were also attracted by the fact that biomaterial industry and foreign capital enterprises had already moved in.
What is the view for fostering the bioindustry?
Kim : Songdo still has great potential for further growth. From the perspective of the value chain, it requires a connection to IT and open innovation. A value chain is not something that is formed in a single motion. The current trend is that R&D institutes are moving in, and the IFEZ is securing the necessary space and support — so we ask everyone to keep their hopes high for the future.
Min : Innovation in the bioindustry runs on speed; if we move forward faster than competing companies, we can change the course of the industry. It is the business’ mission to generate exports and employment to match the amount of support given and to rise as the leader in business.
Kim : Though we cannot forget our focused businesses from a national standpoint, it is also necessary to foster future industries. The future core industry must be one for which the infrastructure has been put in place and, at the same time, that the Korea companies can excel in. That’s why the bioindustry is the most promising.
Min : I have high expectations for fostering professional human resources because this is a field for predicting changing regulations and for leading and securing professional technology. Furthermore, I hope that, when the ecosystem is solidified, material bases can be made here in Korea, and that the whole bioindustry — medical and healthcare — will be operated within our country.
What are the goals of DM Bio?
Min : We are an affiliate of Dong-A Socio Holdings Co. Ltd. and carry its history of 90 years of pharmaceutical manufacturing. We have our own style. First of all, our flexible operational design has differentiated as a CDMO. Thanks to support from Meiji Seika Pharma, we are advantaged in perceiving the market to expand overseas. We have already entered Japan and, in 2020, we are planning to test the markets in Europe and the USA. In the proper way of DM Bio, we will grow, step by step.
Kim : DM Bio has more than doubled in growth and represents a good employment opportunity for young people. Good cities are made by good enterprises, and good enterprises do good business and offer a lot of quality jobs. That’s how businesses and cities can develop together, and that’s why DM Bio can be trusted.