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Biosimilars boost for South Korea Posted 25/02/2011

The South Korean Government has pledged to promote the biosimilars industry and plans to invest in the biosimilars industry in order to make Korea a market leader. The government will provide both financial and institutional support and is aiming to take a 22% share of the global market by 2020.

South Korea has a long history in manufacturing biologicals and a regulatory pathway for biosimilars was introduced in South Korea in 2009. Shortly after this, electronics giant Samsung announced that it would invest US$389 million (Euros 282 million) in biosimilars over the next five years. At the time, Samsung described biosimilars as a business in which it aimed to grow strategically and would participate “aggressively”.

The Korean Ministry of Knowledge and Economy projects that the biosimilars market will grow to US$14.3 billion (Euros 10.4 billion) by 2015, especially after 2013 when many patents for major innovator biopharmaceuticals expire.

Korea believes that it can be successful in taking a bigger chunk of the biosimilars market by being price competitive, and says that it believes biosimilars will be “easier” than innovative products as they have lower development costs.

Minister of Knowledge and Economy Mr Choi Kyung-hwan added that “the local generic pharmaceutical industry failed to advance to the global market because it just settled for the domestic market. We need to make this an opportunity for Korea to become a leader in the global bio and pharmaceutical industry”.

The ministry expects that promoting the biosimilars industry will contribute US$2 billion (Euros 1.45 billion) to the country’s gross domestic product and US$1 billion (Euros 725 million) to its exports, creating 120,000 jobs and fostering at least five globally competitive biosimilar companies.

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Source: Korea Herald

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