Hosted by Korea Health Industry Development Institute (President Kwon Soon-man) and Chungcheongbuk-do (Governor Lee Si-jong) and sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, BIO KOREA 2021 was held June 9-11 in COEX Seoul. In its 16th run this year, BIO KOREA has introduced the technological level of Korea’s pharmaceutical and bio industries to the world.
This year, the emphasis was on collaboration with global institutions and companies. BIO KOREA 2021 examined innovative changes in technology and directions in the biohealth industry in response to the new normal era. Unlike last year’s BIO KOREA 2020, which was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event was successfully held in a hybrid format with conferences, exhibitions, business forums, investment fairs, and job fair programs simultaneously held online and offline.
The ultimate goal of the “Post-BIO KOREA Special: Grasps the Korea-Australia business opportunity” is to promote collaboration opportunities between the two countries and investment in the Australian market.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission of the Australian Embassy in Korea participated in BIO KOREA 2021 and introduced 28 Australian companies representing a wide range of capabilities in the bio field to the Korean market. A non-face-to-face interview was conducted with a staff from Australia major CRO George Clinical.
Q1. What kind of company is George Clinical?
George Clinical is a leading global CRO that has been providing high-quality clinical trials with over 20 years of scientific expertise and operational excellence. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, it has approximately 350 employees in 16 locations in APAC, Korea the US and Europe, and conducts clinical trials in 38 locations worldwide.
George Clinical specializes in all kinds of CRO services, including scientific leadership, program and protocol design, project management, clinical monitoring and site management, medical reports, biostatics, data management, medical monitoring, safety and pharmacovigilance, regulations, endpoint adjustment, quality management, health economics, evidence research, and observation experiments. Also, it has the flexibility to provide a single service as well as a holistic trial management solution to suit the needs of multiple customers, including biotech start-ups, pharmaceutical/medical devices, and academic institutions.
With extensive experience in early-stage studies including bioequivalence, proof-of-concept, pharmacokinetics, and single and multiple-dose studies, George Clinical is collaborating with many Phase I units in Australia and abroad. It provides a one-stop service for customers who want to take advantage in quick start-up, experienced inspectors, high quality, and attractive tax benefits.
Q2. Are you considering overseas business opportunities or collaborations with foreign companies (especially Korea)?
As Australia is becoming a hot spot for early clinical trials, the headquarters and the Australian service team are optimally equipped to support clinical trial projects of biopharmaceutical sponsors in Korea and other countries.
With a wealth of experience, an in-depth understanding of the Australian regulatory framework and R&D tax benefits, and a network of partners including Phase 1 trial units and partners, specialized clinical trials and leading positions, George Clinical is the most powerful and trustworthy CRO partner in Australia for global sponsors.
In addition, it supports Korean biopharmaceutical companies to progress from Phase 1 to Phase 3 clinical trials with its operating team located in APAC, the US, and Europe. With a Korean branch, we are ideally placed to provide more convenience to Korean customers.
Q3. What are the changes and achievements after Bio Korea 2021?
George Clinical, a company affiliated with the Australian Pavilion, participated in the conference at this Bio Korea event. Through the event, a meeting was held with nine companies in Korea, and two companies with high potential were selected as companies with high potential for leading the market and creating opportunities within the next six to nine months.
Q4. The Australian government is providing support to the biohealth industry, including direct investment in health and medical research and providing R&D support programs. As an Australian company, have you used these programs when working with foreign companies?
We are interested in working with the Australian Trade and Investment Commission of the Australian Embassy to further enhance our brand awareness and CRO capabilities in key markets such as Korea. We can help our sponsors understand, explore and take advantage of the attractive R&D tax benefits the Australian Government offers.
Q5. Are there issues regarding business revitalization between Korea and Australia and cooperation you would like to share?
As Korean biotech and pharmaceutical companies advance overseas and Australia provides opportunities to enable its expansion as follows, I believe that Australia-Korea cooperation will continue to receive attention.
▲ Fast startup process for Phase 1 clinical trial ▲ Established clinical trial infrastructure (availability of high-quality phase 1 sites, etc.) ▲ Strong government support such as R&D tax deduction ▲ High-quality data on par with the US and Europe and relatively low cost
Australia also expects more international sponsors to benefit from cooperation by giving patients access to new therapies through clinical research. It will be helpful for both parties.
Australia is conducting world-class scientific research in fields that Korean sponsors can use, such as oncology/immunology, gene cancer therapy (OMICO, formerly the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre Ltd) and cardiovascular diseases. For example, The George Institute for Global Health, the parent company of the George Clinic, is known for its research in areas such as kidney, metabolism, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and stroke. Our expertise and KOL network can help Korean companies with intensive research in these treatment areas.
Q6. Lastly, what would you like to say to the Korean companies?
Australia offers Korean companies the advantages of fast startup timelines, well-established Phase I clinical units, experienced investigators, world-recognized high-quality data, and a tax incentive system for R&D to help Korean companies do their best in Phase 1 research.
In addition, following Phase 1 clinical trials, Australia offers a good geographic location for Phase 2 and 3 studies. George Clinical is well positioned to support Korean companies looking to optimize the benefits of conducting clinical trials in Australia and looks forward to working with more clients in Korea.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission of the Australian Embassy in Korea provides various services for Australian companies to successfully enter overseas markets through a global network. It is also engaging in activities to attract foreign direct investment to Australia and overseas marketing of the Australian education sector. It is in charge of facilitating cooperation with Australian companies when needed.