The Korea Herald reports that the Korean government plans to invest in supporting the biosimilar industry to make Korea a market leader. They've set a lofty goal of achieving 22% global market share by 2020. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy says the world market for biosimilars is expected to be $14.5 B by 2015 with a huge amount of the market growth coming after a bolus of patent expirations by 2013.
Korea believes that it can be successful in taking biosimilars share by targetting price as a competitive weapon, and says that it believes biosimilars will be "easier" than innovative products as the R&D requirements will be lessened in comparison.
"The local [Korean] generic pharmaceutical industry failed to advance to the global market because it just settled for the domestic market. We need to make this an opportunity for Korea to become a leader in the global bio and pharmaceutical industry,” said Minister of Knowledge Economy Choi Kyung-hwan at a meeting with chiefs of local pharmaceutical firms.
The government plans to provide financial and institutional support for the industry, e.g. manufacturing facilities to support biotech. It will also name biosimilars as a "core green" industry. Korea expects this effort to add $2 B extra to GDP, $1 B to its exports, to create 120,000 new jobs and to spawn 5 globally competitive biosimilar companies.
Posted by Bruce Lehr November 22nd 2010.