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Korea’s biological drug capacity to double in 3 to 4 yrs: Merck Life CEO

According to Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea

"Korea will command one tenth of the worldwide production of biologic drugs within the next three to four years," said Udit Batra, chief executive of Life Science of Merck.

“Korea is fast catching up with leading pharmaceutical companies, he said in an exclusive interview with the Maeil Business Newspaper.

“Korea is currently producing around 5 percent of 4 million liter biologic drugs in the world but its production capacity will more than double within three to four years, when the global production will rise to up to 5 million liters,” he projected.

Korea is well equipped with education resources like universities, as well as investment projects and national support for research costs in its challenge to technology-intensive biotech sectors.

But it will take quite a few years to develop its own R&D and marketing capabilities, said Batra, who visited Korea to celebrate the inauguration of M Lab Collaboration Center in Songdo. “Merck will be able to share its experience and expertise in biologic drug development and clinical research with Korean customers,” he added.

The German pharmaceutical company operates nine M Lab Collaboration Centers around the world to allow biopharmaceutical companies to access Merck’s equipment and expertise to explore new ways to increase productivity, improve process efficiency and reduce risks. The latest M Lab Collaboration Center in Songdo replaces a previous training center located in Pangyo. Merck invested some 10 million euros ($11 million) to build the new center.

With 1,865 square meters of space and more than 10 highly experienced scientists and engineers, the center will support local biopharma manufacturers, spanning the spectrum from large organizations to emerging companies developing biologics to great rare diseases or different types of cancer.

“Korea is one of the countries with the most active businesses in IT and BT sectors and particularly Songdo is emerging as a hub for biotech, pharmaceutical and beauty industries,” said Batra, adding “the new center is already fully booked several months ahead.” Korea is Merck’s third largest market of revenue among the 66 countries where it operates.

By Lee Dong-In

Copyrights Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea. All Rights Reserved.

Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (Oct. 7, 2016)

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