The South Korean government announced this month plans for four ministries to contribute $301 million to stimulate the development and production of stem cell and genetic drugs for export. According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, in 2014, South Korea had the second-highest number of projects in stem cell–drug development globally, at 40. The country also has four of the five commercialized stem cell–technologies worldwide. The Science Ministry has indicated that commercializing biopharmaceutical drugs is a top priority. The government will contribute KRW 18 billion ($15.9 million) this year and up to KRW 50 billion by 2017 to small companies conducting research in arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. By the end of this year, the companies will receive KRW 110.5 billion for research results, clinical tests and government approval overseas, clinical test guidelines and help with product exports for gaining US FDA approval. In 2014, bio-related start-ups represented 14% of the value of South Korea’s Kosdaq stock market.
Source: Korea JoongAng Daily