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Overview

Korean Pharmaceutical Innovators' Group
Korea Drug Research Association

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Overview

Global Pharmaceutical Industry in its operation and innovation activities is now facing serious challenges resulted by mega trends in healthcare paradigm. Global pharmaceutical industry including Korean pharmaceutical industry is trying to approach the smart strategies to avoid the slow-down in productivity, cut-down of innovation value, reinforcement of regulation, lack of real innovation, patent expiration etc through making value-based innovation and level-up of innovation meeting the market needs from the population and government.

To accelerate the innovation activities and meet the various kinds of call for innovative therapeutic agents having better therapeutic benefits from patients, the government, health insurance agency and market, Korean R&D-based pharmaceutical companies have been involving in pioneering unmet medical needs areas investing over 65% to their annual net profit with the strong support from the Korean government.

Korean R&D-based pharmaceutical companies have continuously been pursuing R&D productivity & effectiveness to overcome the disadvantageous R&D resources in comparision with the advanced nations. The main driving power of the industry is highly educated & experienced R&D manpower, strong passion for new drug development, strategic & dynamic nationwide collaboration network between the industry, academia and public research orgs. and strong will & vision for global market.

Korea emerging as a hub country in north east Asian area has also been emerging as a key contributor in global healthcare innovation. During the past 10 years global pharmaceutical & biotech industries have witnessed Korea coming up to the global pharmaceutical market as one of the countries possessing new drug R&D abilities.

Modern pharmaceutical industry in Korea has 110 years of history initiating at the end of the 1800s, when a first modern pharmaceutical company began its operation. With the introduction of product patent system in 1987, Korean pharmaceutical companies initiated full-scale R&D activities as the last breakthrough to cope with the rapidly changing pharmaceutical environment, and spared no efforts to expedite their R&D activities towards the development of new drugs for around 30 years with a firm conviction for being major contributor to the global pharmaceutical innovation for the healthy life of the population.

Although with a comparatively small market size, US$ 16 billion in production occupying 1.5% of global market at present, Korean market is expected to grow up unceassingly with rapid annual growth rate of 10% in domestic market surpassing the world average 3-5%. To overcome the small market size in comparision with bigger market in US, EU etc, the Korean pharmaceutical industry has been accelerating their innovation activities in new drug R&D for early entering the overseas market.

According to the recent analysis data by Korea Health Industry Development Institute(KHIDI), major 46 R&D-Based Korean pharmaceutical companies recently designated to be innovative pharmaceutical companies by the Ministry of Health & Welfare of Korea will increase R&D investment from 1,272,300 KRW million to 3,879,800 KRW million by 2020.

As for the Korean pharmaceutical industry, during the past 30 years there has been marvelous advancement in new drug research and development; market-launched 33 new drugs approved by the Korean regulatory agency(MFDS), US-FDA approved 2 drugs, world's first monoclonal antibody biosimilar, around 15 IND-approved(by US FDA, EMA) new drug candidates, 200 or so out-licenced(to 30 countries) new drug candidates & technologies, 300 or so finished drugs & APIs already launched in overseas market including US and EU, 1,000 or so leads or druggable candidates existing in Korean pharmas' labs, 124 to be commercialized in the global market by 2014~2016 etc. Considering the success possibility, 31 of new drugs are expected by 2020.

Korean pharmaceutical industry owes these successful innovation activities and future vision to not only their own strong passion & resolute R&D investment for growth strategy through innovation in new drug research and development but also systemic R&D ecosystem surrounding the industry; optimized R&D environment closely linked to the industry and strong governmental support.

Accompanied by 150 or so universities and colleges having strong needs for R&D co-works and technology commercialization with the industry with their excellent IP assets in early stage research areas, 6 major public research institutes(Korea Institute of Science & Technology, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Korea Basic Science Institute, Institute Pasteur Korea, Korea Institute of Toxicology) having excellent research abilities in basic & applied science and superior research infrastructure and 19 preclinical trial organizations & 163 clinical trial facilities, most of the R&D based Korean pharmaceutical companies have been pioneering the future with new drug R&D.

In this new drug R&D ecosystem well designed & functionally organized in the direction of concentrating to the acceleration of the innovation activities of Korean pharmaceutical industry there also exist strong support from the Korean government in several areas; establishment of the Act for supporting & raising pharmaceutical industry, a special law enacted in 2011 to prepare important basis to support & accelerate the industrial growth through reinforcement of innovation, vast amount of R&D funding and preparation of important R&D infrastructures etc.

Before the legislation of the Act for supporting & raising pharmaceutical industry, the Korean Government, keeping pace with the efforts of the industry, has chosen the pharmaceutical & biotech industry as one of the 10 fastest growing industry sectors in parallel with IT sector and has planned mid-and long-term fostering programs.

Recently the Korean government(the Ministry of Health & Welfare) in accordance with the provisions of the Act for supporting & raising pharmaceutical industry has designated 46 Korean pharmaceutical companies including 2 foreign-based company as Korea innovative pharmaceutical company to provide special benefits in tax reduction & exemption, preferential governmental research funding, postponement of drug price cutting-down etc. in order to promote R&D investment and support sustainable growth. More than anything else this means that the government guide and urge the industry to be innovative to become the leading industry in global market through the designation of innovative pharmaceutical companies to be appealled to the whole pharmaceutical industry as role-model.

Korean government has also been supporting tremendous governmental fund to new drug R&D and biotechnology areas since 1987 and recently it amount to around 0.3 US B$ in a year as of 2015 coincidently establishing Korea Drug Development Fund, National OncoVenture and Hitech Medical Clusters in Osong & Daegu-Gyeongbuk as important national new drug R&D infrastructures.

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Korea Drug Research Assocoation
Address : 24, Beodeunaru-ro 14ga-gil, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Korea (07230), Tel. : +82-2-525-3106, Fax. : +82-2-525-3109, E-Mail : kdra@kdra.or.kr, Website : http://www.kdra.or.kr Copyright © Korea Drug Research Assocoation (KDRA). All Rights Reserved.
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