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South Korean pharma firms show interest in the Basel Area


Several South Korean firms from the life sciences industry, facilitated by the major Korean industry associations, have visited the Basel Area on fact-finding missions since October in connection with potentially establishing a presence in the region. An agreement with the largest industry association in South Korea and a delegation from Basel visiting Seoul laid the groundwork for these visits.

Delegation of Korean pharmaceutical companies with Basel Area representatives at the Main Campus of the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area

Several South Korean pharmaceutical companies have visited the Basel Area in recent months, some of them considering establishing a presence in the region as a base for their respective European subsidiaries. As the investment and innovation promotion agency, Basel Area Business & Innovation, has announced, a trio of South Korean firms recently travelled to Switzerland and the Basel Area on a fact-finding mission regarding the regional Life Sciences ecosystem. The trip was organized by the industry association KoreaBIO. The itinerary included visits to the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area at Novartis Campus and its Main Campus in Allschwil in the canton of Basel-Landschaft, where informative presentations were arranged covering the Basel Area and its ecosystem.

Macrogen, one of the world’s leading companies for precision medicine and biotechnology, based in Seoul, serves more than 18,000 customers from academic research and industry. The company has several overseas subsidiaries and branches in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Singapore. The biotech firm Stemon is developing digital induction of cell therapies using Entr technology. CEFO focuses on the pre-clinical stage of bone regeneration in the hip and spine.

Partnership agreement signed

This was preceded by a visit from two of South Korea’s largest pharmaceutical firms, Yuhan Corporation and Hanmi Pharmaceutical, at the end of October. “We are impressed by how strong the focus on science, technology and the development of new medicines is in Basel”, commented Lauren Young-Mi Lee, Head of R&D at Hanmi, in an article for the “Basler Zeitung” newspaper.

This significant interest in the Basel Area comes along with a city partnership agreement that was signed by Basel and Seoul on September 29. Moreover, Basel Area Business & Innovation and the Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharma Manufacturers Association (KPBMA), South Korea’s largest association for the pharmaceutical industry, agreed terms on a partnership agreement in January 2022.

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