Many biopharma firms aren’t making money

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Many biopharma firms aren’t making money

Despite positive outlooks for the nation’s biopharmaceutical industry, almost half the companies in the sector are not yet earning any revenue.

The Korea Industrial Technology Association surveyed 1,000 companies in the biopharmaceutical sector and reported that while the majority thought market prospects were positive, 45.6 percent had no earnings to report.

Even among those who reported earnings, 18.7 percent had only been doing so for a year.

Although many in the sector predict a bright future, the current working environment for them is tough.

The biggest problem reported by the companies was a lack of talented researchers to hire. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they were short-staffed when it came to research personnel. Only 7.5 percent said their needs were met.

Difficulties securing funding to pursue business projects and to find appropriate distribution networks around the globe also hindered the companies.

Such problems were present not only at small and midsize enterprises but also at conglomerates.

Nineteen conglomerates participated in the survey, including Hanwha Group, which announced on Tuesday it would become the first to drop its biopharmaceutical business.

Hanwha Chemical first entered the biosimilars business in 2006, but lost opportunities even after successfully developing a biosimilar for Enbrel, a cure for rheumatism, because clinical trials for the drug were delayed.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]





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