SEOUL, July 20 (Korea Bizwire) – ‘Open innovation’ refers to a company’s innovative means to develop a new product or service by sharing and accepting new knowledge and ideas from other companies or start-ups that have developed groundbreaking technology.
The practice is becoming increasingly common in the Korean pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
In the past, innovations were sparked by large pharmaceutical companies such as Yuhan Corporation, Green Cross, and Hanmi Pharmaceutical cooperating with academia and venture enterprises. By cooperating, small companies kept receiving investment from their bigger partners, and the bigger partners would get technological assistance from the small companies.
However, the scope of innovative cooperation is expanding.
According to an industry expert, small ventures including Hugel, Bioleaders, Bridge Biotherapeutics, and Amicogen have begun to invest in each other, and participate in joint studies.
This trend is eye-catching among industry officials because starts-ups of different sizes and levels are discovering and supporting one another in an innovative way.
Some credit the increase in open innovation among starts-ups with the development of new biotech firms with varying capabilities. Because most biotech ventures concentrate on research and technology development in their initial stages, collaborating with large companies used to offer better benefits than working with other startups. But a new ecosystem has been created where partnerships between biotech startups are sufficient to grow the competitiveness of all the participants.
Amicogen, a biotech company specialized in enzyme-based health ingredients, is looking for new business opportunities with 10 biotech startups in which it has invested in the past.
Bioleaders and Bridge Biotherapeutics, too, are cooperating with each other to develop new medical treatments. Bioleaders provides a platform for new drug development technology, and Bridge Biotherapeutics, a No Research Development Only (NRDO) company, offers management expertise.
NRDO companies like Bridge Biotherapeutics only specialize in clinical development.
“Biotech startups in the past used to focus on basic research, whereas new ventures are becoming multi-talented to further advance the industry through collaboration,” said Lee Jung-kyu, CEO of Bridge Biotherapeutics. “More open innovation will be seen as the industry matures in the future.”
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)