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Drugmakers' tech exports top 10 tln won in 2015

All News 09:13 April 08, 2016

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean pharmaceutical and bio companies saw exports of their drug-manufacturing technologies exceed 10 trillion won (US$8.64 billion) in 2015 thanks to their efforts to tap into overseas markets, industry data showed Friday.

According to the data by the Korea Drug Research Association, industry leader Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. and other pharmaceutical companies clinched a combined 26 deals on technology exports and out-licensing last year.

The value of 20 agreements, whose financial terms were disclosed, came to 9.29 trillion won, the association said, adding the figure probably surpassed 10 trillion won if the remaining six deals were included.

The trade organization didn't provide on-year comparisons for both the number of agreements and their value.

"The amount is based on the assumption that the exported technologies would be successfully commercialized, but it is very meaningful for South Korean companies to have achieved such a feat by zeroing in on overseas markets," the association said.

Local pharmaceutical and bio companies have been ramping up efforts to make inroads into foreign countries as the domestic market is deemed relatively small. The South Korean pharmaceutical market is estimated at 20 trillion won.

Hanmi Pharmaceutical was the biggest exporter last year by clinching a series of deals on licensing of its pipeline products and collaborative research and development of early treatment for lung cancer and diabetes.

The company signed licensing deals with such global pharmaceutical heavyweights as Janssen, Sanofi and Boehringer Ingelheim, with their combined value totaling 8 trillion won.

Other exporters include Boryung Pharmaceutical Co. and Genexine, a clinical stage biotechnology company listed on the secondary stock market.

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