The billion dollar Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF) has called on US CRO Parexel to help local developers commercialise pharmaceuticals on the global market.
The deal – announced late last week – will see Parexel provide consulting and support services to help academics and researchers advance their most promising technologies as part of the KDDF’s efforts to get at least 10 new products on the market by 2019.
Dong Ho Lee, CEO of KDDF, said: “Together with PAREXEL, KDDF will be able to provide professional consulting services to the Korean research communities to advance research activities and promote important innovation.”
The KDDF – which was set up in September last year in a joint project by Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Health and Welfare – is the second Korean organisation Parexel has partnered with this year.
In February the Boston contract research organisation (CRO) teamed up with the Seoul-based ASAN Medical Center (AMC) in a deal designed to give its customers access to clinical trials services in the country.
Speaking at the time COO Mark Goldberg said: “Our relationship with the ASAN Medical Center affords us the opportunity to further extend this capability into Asia.”
Whether this interest in Korea is driven - at least in part - by demand from specific clients is unclear, but it would fit with strategic R&D investments made by one of its biggest Pfizer, a few years back .
Parexel's interest in Korea also fits with the trend in the wider CRO sector. In May last year Quintiles partnered with the Korea National Enterprise for clinical trials and in November inVentiv stared carrying out research for the first time following its acquisition of PharmaNet/i3.