SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Korea Bizwire) – Technology Licensing Offices at hospitals, universities and research labs had successfully inked 405 technology transfer deals with businesses as of October, the Ministry of Health and Welfare revealed on November 15.
Technology Licensing Offices, commonly referred to as TLOs, are organizations set up as intermediaries that serve as the bridge between research and commercial enterprise. Duties include applying for patents and arranging IP transfers with business entities.
Successful commercialization of the latest medical findings in turn drives R&D efforts. The 405 deals generated 44.2 billion won, of which a substantial amount is expected to be reinvested in additional research.
Beyond TLO transfers, the number of researchers taking matters into their own hands has risen over the past two years. Compared to 2013, a year that saw one startup founded by members from a medical research institute, 2016 through 2017 had 18 and seven, respectively.
Increased research in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and other areas constituting medical research are generating results in the form of innovative medical equipment and drugs. Domestically, Ildong Pharmaceutical’s Besifovir (Hepatitis B) and Kolon Life Science’s Invossa-K Inj (knee osteoarthritis therapy through cell and gene treatment) were both approved for sale.
South Korean drugs have also had a good showing in North American and European markets this year. Five new drugs, including four biosimilars, received approval from foreign regulatory bodies. Biosimilars are drugs approved based on the strength of shared characteristics with medicines currently on the market.
The five drugs include Samsung Bioepsis Co’s Imraldi (autoimmune disease), Celltrion’s Truxima (cancer inhibitor) and SK Chemical’s Afstyla (Hemophilia A).
Three medical devices gained access into foreign markets as well. An ultrasound scanning apparatus and a laser skin treatment machine were both approved by the FDA, and a recently developed defibrillator was given the nod by Brazilian health authorities.