|7 February 2017|

South Korea

The South Korean Government is to invest $274 million in biotechnology  this year as part of its efforts to become a global leader in the industry.

In a press release, Hong Nam-ki, vice minister of the ICT ministry, said: “The bio sector is a leading science business industry where the results of R&D directly lead to success in the market. The ministry will make all-out efforts by designating the sector as the country’s strategic industry.”

This is in line with announcements made last year by South Korean-headquartered companies

We reported LG Group’s plans to to boost its strength in biotechnology by merging LG Chem and LG Life Sciences, its biopharmaceuticals unit, in a move designed to increase its share of the rapidly growing international biotechnology market. With a focus on red biotechnology, also known as medical biotechnology, LG is positioning itself to capitalise on a global biopharmaceutical industry expected to expand to almost $278 billion by 2020.

“The merger reflects LG Group’s aims to nurture its biotechnology business,” a statement released from LG Chem said.

This investment is very much in line with the direction of travel for a number of South Korea’s biggest companies.

“South Korea’s leading conglomerates have arrived at a common destination — biotechnology,” a report in the Korean Herlad said in late 2016.

Samsung is another spending billions on its red biotech ambitions through Samsung BioLogics and Samsung Bioepis.

By 2018 Samsung BioLogics says it expects to be the world’s largest contract manufacturing organization (CMO) for biologics thanks to the completion of its third plant – which will bring its total production capacity to 360,000 liters.

“We are pleased with our sustainable expansion through continuous investments and innovation,” said Dr TH Kim, CEO of Samsung BioLogics. “We will continue to strengthen our competitiveness in order to deliver long-term growth.”