A few months after announcing its arrival in South Korea, Celerion and the Korean Drug Development Fund (KDDF) have agreed to collaborate to provide drug development expertise and support for the emerging industry.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Celerion and the KDDF, companies funded by KDDF will have access to Celerion’s experience and expertise in early clinical research and bioanalysis, as well as the research company’s global footprint of external partner sites.
Susan Thornton, President and CEO of Celerion, told us: “The South Korean government and industry leaders have focused their energies in recent years in developing a biomedical research and development industry that will be among the world’s leaders by 2020…Part of the government stimulus is through $1B in venture funding to emerging pharmaceutical companies through the KDDF.”
The collaboration will focus on developing innovative and efficient ways to bring Korean drug discoveries to market through the use of the new funding.
“To facilitate early clinical development, the South Korean government has facilitated the construction of Clinical Trial Centers at 15 major medical centers across the country” Thornton said. “Added to this has been the influence of KoNect (Korean National Enterprise for Clinical Trials) that is an industry-academic-government collaboration to enhance training and collaboration to perform effectively on global clinical research studies. These efforts have been effective as evident by Seoul, South Korea emerging as a leading city in the world for initiation of clinical studies.”
Celerion will support all programs with KDDF, from the recently announced business expansion within the Biomedical Research Institute at Seoul National University Hospital in South Korea.
KDDF recognized Celerion as a leader focused on early clinical research from first-in-human studies to clinical proof-of-concept studies. “This phase of development is where real value is built for new drug candidates,” Thornton said.
“The synergies of Celerion and KDDF working together to help move promising candidates into appropriate clinical testing environments were apparent to both parties,” she added. Thornton previously explained more about Celerion’s reasoning behind its initial move into South Korea in March.
Dongho Lee, CEO of KDDF, noted: “Together with Celerion, KDDF will be able to provide professional consulting services to the Korean research communities to advance the research activities and promote important innovation.”