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Twelve Korean Biotechnology Startups to Participate in U.S. Bio Convention
Startups Knocking on U.S. Bio Market Door
Twelve Korean Biotechnology Startups to Participate in U.S. Bio Convention
  • By Choi Moon-hee
  • May 28, 2019, 14:13
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A view of the Korean Pavilion at the 2018 Bio International Convention held in Boston, United States

Korean biotechnology startups are seeking to enter the U.S. market, the largest biopharmaceutical market in the world.

The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) said on May 26 that 12 Korean biotechnology companies will participate in the 2019 Bio International Convention, which is a large-scale international biotechnology exhibition to be hosted by Biotechnology Innovation Organization in Philadelphia from June 3 (local time) for four days. These companies will showcase their technologies and R&D portfolios at the Korean Pavilion set up by KOTRA.

Companies participating in this convention are medical device company Engain; stem cell therapy developer Corestem; super-bacterial bio-drug developer iNtRON Biotechnology; oral mucosal immunization vaccine developer Bioleaders; total drug development and clinical trial solutions provider LSK Global Pharma Services; microbiology and genome research and analysis company Chunlab; and molecular biological equipment developer Gene System.

The participants also include SN BioScience, which develops double nano-micelle transporter; Binary, which identifies the causes of various diseases based on tissue transparency and immunostaining studies; Kangstem Biotech, which develops cord blood stem cell-derived stem cell therapy; Optolane, which produces in vitro diagnostic devices that combine biosensor-based semiconductor technology; and Sunbio, which develops and manufactures new drugs using a technology called Pegfilgrastim biosimilar.

In particular, iNtRON Biotechnology showed its technological prowess by licensing out its super-bacterial bio-drug SAL200 to Roivant Sciences for 750 billion won last year.

Another participant Corestem had its stem cell therapy designated as a rare drug in the United States and Europe. Last year, the company’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) stem cell therapy Neuronata R Injection was designated as a rare drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In March, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) also designated it as a rare drug. The company is preparing for U.S. clinical trials this year.

Bioleaders signed a contract to adopt the P53 anti-cancer drug technology from Israel’s Wiseman Research Center, one of the world's top five basic science research institutes. Recently, the company started to prepare for development of the P53 targeted anti-cancer drug by establishing a local corporation, Quintrigen, in Israel.

SN BioScience aims to carry out Phase 1 clinical trials of anti-pancreatic cancer candidate SNB-101 in the United States and Korea this year. The company is a startup that sold 29.3 percent of its equity to OCI for 5 billion won.

In addition, Kangstem Biotech is waiting for the results of Phase 3 clinical trials of Purestem-AD, an atopic dermatosis stem cell treatment, and plans to apply for Phase 2 clinical trial to EAM this year.