Yoo promises to bolster bio-health industry

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Yoo promises to bolster bio-health industry


Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho visits Celltrion’s research lab at the bio-health company in Incheon on Thursday. [MINISTRY OF STRATEGY AND FINANCE]

INCHEON, Gyeonggi - The government said it will take steps to bolster the local bio-health industry, which has a worldwide market share of only about 1 percent.

Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho, who visited manufacturing plants of Celltrion, an Incheon-based pharmaceutical company, said on Thursday that the government will help the industry by reforming some regulations and making a business-friendly environment for biotech companies.

“The government will do everything possible to make the local bio-health industry become one of the strongest in the world,” said Yoo at a meeting held at one of the Celltrion’s plants with local businessmen whose companies specialize in bio-health.

At the meeting, Yoo listened to the difficulties that companies are facing, such as lack of government funding for research and development programs and government regulations that often hold them back.

Yoo promised to focus on bolstering the country’s bio-health industry and said he would announce specific plans to boost investment in the industry later this month.

“Korea has high potential in the industry backed by the country’s strong IT technology,” Yoo said. “There were more than 280,000 foreigners who visited the country to get health care services, and 141 local medical institutions entered the foreign market last year. Korea is very strong in the clinical testing sector and building momentum, and all of these will eventually bring remarkable results in the near future.”

Celltrion is the country’s No. 1 manufacturer of biosimilar products, or a copy of an original medical product. The company recently received approval to sell biosimilar products along with other treatments in Europe.

BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]
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