How to become a biopharmaceutical power

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How to become a biopharmaceutical power

Most medications are made chemically. They are effective, but they come with side effects. How can we make safe medication? Medications produced with materials from human bodies are likely safe. And that is biopharmacology.

While the chemical pharmacology has stopped its growth, biopharmaceutical industry has shown rapid growth. Among them, antibody drugs comprise about 70 percent of the biopharmaceutical industry, worth more than $50 billion in the global market.

Antibodies can stably exist inside human bodies from two to four weeks, and they show a higher success rate than chemical compounds when developed into medications. Because about 70 percent of the sales are profits, it is an attractive industry for a country.

Advanced countries are paying special attentions to technology and research and development of antibody drugs, and the shocking 10-percent annual growth is backing the moves. In contrast, Korea’s condition is extremely poor. It has no basic technologies, capital or professionals.

Under this circumstance, it is nearly impossible to catch up with the advanced nations with conventional methods of development. We need to seriously think about what strategy we will use with limited resources.

Of the various processes of developing new medications, we need to decide what process we will choose to focus.

To develop a new drug, we normally go through four stages. Clinical trials take a long time and are costly. We need to focus our resources on the process of selecting a good candidate for a clinical trial. It will be relatively less costly.

The issue is the implementation strategy. Industry, academia and research communities must participate together to come up with an integrated development system for a new drug.

Based on that, we must pay attentions to the development of new technology. We can develop candidates of new medications and offer them to the world market. Becoming a biopharmaceutical power won’t be just a dream.

*Dr. Song Byeong-doo, President of the Scripps Korea Antibody Institute
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