AstraZeneca commits $630M to Korean drug R&D push

fiercebiotech | June 17, 2019

AstraZeneca is set to spend 630 million dollars (562 million) on R and D in South Korea over the next five years. The commitment is part of a wider agreement between organizations in Korea and Sweden. In 2016, the Korean government outlined a strategy designed to establish biopharma as a key growth driver for an economy that has relied on tech in recent decades. The strategy aimed to create almost 1 million jobs by offering tax benefits for investments in R&D facilities and other perks intended to get local and foreign businesses to pump money into the industry. Korean officials want AstraZeneca to support its R&D strategy. In addition to making the financial commitment, AstraZeneca has entered into a letter of intent with a Korean trade promotion agency and industry group. The letter sets the stage for cooperation on new drug development, the provision of mentoring for biotech startups and the advance of AI and other emerging technologies. Korea plans to invest $2 billion in AI by 2022 and has made the application of the technology to drug development a key part of its strategy. Korean authorities hope AstraZeneca will help give momentum to these initiatives and the broader biotech sector. While local companies such as Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical, Samsung BioLogics and Hanmi Pharmaceutical have begun to establish themselves on the world stage, there is a limited pool of Korean drug developers with the experience to help the country’s nascent biopharma industry.

Spotlight

This synthesis report draws on key lessons from the OECD Health Care Quality Review series. As health costs continue to climb, policymakers increasingly face the challenge of ensuring that substantial spending on health is delivering value for money. At the same time, concerns about patients occasionally receiving poor‑quality health care have led to demands for greater transparency and accountability.

Spotlight

This synthesis report draws on key lessons from the OECD Health Care Quality Review series. As health costs continue to climb, policymakers increasingly face the challenge of ensuring that substantial spending on health is delivering value for money. At the same time, concerns about patients occasionally receiving poor‑quality health care have led to demands for greater transparency and accountability.

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