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BGIC, Korean giant join for development of Thai bio-pharmaceutical industry

Sep 25. 2019
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By THE NATION

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BGIC, a Thai biotechnology developer, has teamed up with South Korea’s bio-tech giant Genexine Inc and experts in related sectors to jointly develop Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry amid dramatic growth of the biopharmaceutical market worldwide.

BGIC aims to upgrade the Thai bio-pharmaceutical industry to international level, aimed at becoming the top research and manufacturing hub of biopharmaceutical development in Asean.

Marut Buranasetkul of Bio Genetech International Co Ltd, the business developer of biotechnological products with a strong emphasis on bio-pharmaceutical drug development, said: " BGIC sees opportunities and benefits for the bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Thailand, which will propel the country to the next level of new economy model. Memorandums of understanding with leading domestic and international educational institutions were signed to support the research and development of bio-pharmaceutical products. BGIC is ready to act as a hub of business creation, to provide industrial and IP services specialised for biotechnology, including IP management, patenting, licence–in & licence-out management, industrial process improvement, operation and construction of green field biotechnology projects as well as technology transfers and localisation".

The modern medicine market was valued at Bt24 trillion globally, growing 6.5 per cent year-on-year, while the bio-pharmaceutical industry expanded by 13 per cent with Asia accounting for 19 per cent of growth, which is higher than the global average.

The overall market in Thailand is estimated at Bt1.8 billion a year with an annual growth of around 6.5 per cent. Synthetic chemicals lead local sales with a 70 per cent share, followed by biological drugs (30 per cent). However, sales of biological drugs posted a high growth of 16-19 per cent last year and may reach 50 per cent of the local market in 10 years.

Thailand is expected to produce bio-pharmaceuticals through domestic research in the near future.

Marut said BGIC has maintained a vast network of experts in education, government, and private sectors towards the goal of elevating the local bio-pharmaceutical industry to international standard. Recently, a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) was signed with King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) to develop the Thai bio-pharmaceutical industry and build capacity in supply chain linkage of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry, in support of inclusive growth with an eye on the global market.

Following the MoC, a joint venture agreement was signed between KinGen Holdings (KGH) of the BGIC Group and Genexine Inc to establish KinGen Biotech, a contract development and manufacturing organisation of bio-pharmaceutical products. Both parties hold 50 per cent of the joint investment.

KinGen Biotech estimates it would generate a revenue of US$220-250 million between 2019-2026.

Furthermore, another joint venture company, KinGen Laboratory, will be established for the development of bio-pharmaceutical drug candidates . The goal by 2017 is to produce new bio-pharmaceutical drugs for cervical cancer patients, autoimmune patients, HIV-infected people, and hepatitis B virus patients. The estimated market value in 2027 is estimated at more than $1 billion.

In this regard, BGIC is collaborating with the National Bio-pharmaceutical Facility (NBF), which was co-founded in 2014 by KMUTT and the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) Bangkhuntien Campus. The facility comprises of bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities including fermentation, cell culture, downstream processing and fill and finish of sterile parenteral drugs under GMP standards.

Marut said the biotechnology industry is growing day by day due to increased acceptance of bio-pharmaceutical drugs as mainstream treatments of severe diseases, as confirmed by sale figures of the world’s top 20 drugs, wherein 13 are of biological sources.

This is a great opportunity for the local pharmaceutical industry, which enjoying support from the government under the framework of Thailand 4.0 initiative and the new S-Curve industry strategy, he added. 

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