New venture capital investments in bio and medical industries have fallen more sharply than any other sectors this year.
According to an analysis of investment in the first seven months of this year based on the data of Korea Venture Capital Association한국벤처캐피탈협회, the VC investment in bio and medical sectors fell 26 percent from a year ago to 169.5 billion won ($150 million).
The total investment in the same period increased 8 percent from 1.12 trillion won to 1.21trillion won over the cited period.
As a result, bio and medical industries, which attracted the biggest investment both in the first seven months and for the whole of last year, saw their ranking in venture capitalists’ investment fall to the third place this year.
ITC service industry drew the biggest investment of 242.2 billion won, followed by distribution service’s 231 billion won.
The share of bio and medical sector in total new investment also declined.
In the January-July period of 2016, the bio and medical industry’s portion stood at 20.3 percent, up 5.8 percentage points from a year earlier, but the comparable share in the first seven months of this year fell to 13.9 percent this year, down 6.4 percentage points from the same period of 2016.
Some experts attribute the decrease of investment portion in the areas resulted from the cancellation of the export contract after the death of patients who took part in the clinical trials of a lung cancer therapy Olita by Hanmi Pharmaceutical한미약품.
"It was hard to receive fund from VC after the Hanmi incident. We put off the initial public offering for several months, but it wasn’t helpful," said a CEO of a bio and medical company which listed their shares on the KOSDAQ market recently.
An industry executive agreed in part. "Venture capitalists have become cautious to make a new investment in the bio and medical areas after the incident,” he said. “However, I think they have come to prefer to make safe investments rather than reducing the total amount of investment."
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>