By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, July 19 (Yonhap) -- Major South Korean biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion Inc. said Friday that it has set up a joint venture (JV) in China to tap deeper into the world's second-largest biopharmaceutical market.
The JV, dubbed Vcell Healthcare Ltd., with Hong Kong-based Nan Fung Group will develop and commercialize biosimilars in mainland China.
The Shanghai-based JV will obtain the exclusive rights from Celltrion for three biosimilar products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency -- Remsima, Truxmia and Herzuma.
"We are extremely excited about the establishment of Vcell Healthcare, which will serve as the cornerstone for our entry into the Chinese market," Seo Jung-Jin, Chairman of Celltrion Group said in a press release.
Vcell Healthcare aims to launch the three products expeditiously in China following a regulatory approval process, Celltrion said.
Nan Fung Group, founded in 1954, is a conglomerate with businesses ranging from real estate development to life sciences. It established Nan Fung Life Sciences, a global investment platform focusing on the biological sciences.
According to a report by the Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Chinese bio market has grown by over 13 percent on-year over the past five years to become the global No. 2. Its market size is expected to jump from 207.51 trillion won (US$176.78 billion) in 2015 to 304.62 trillion won in 2020.
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