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Will healthcare meetings restore investor confidence in pharmaceuticals?
  • By Nam Doo-hyun
  • Published 2018.12.17 15:44
  • Updated 2018.12.17 15:44
  • comments 0

Industry officials are looking what kind of positive issues will boost investment sentiment in the pharmaceutical sector amid the financial regulator’s stricter accounting rules on R&D spending and the accounting issue at Samsung BioLogics.

In particular, they are paying attention to global healthcare conferences and academic events.

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, slated for Jan. 7-10, is the nearest healthcare meeting.

Organized by multinational investment bank J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the conference provides opportunities for licensing-out and merge/acquisition deals. The event is highly anticipated especially for Korean biotech and pharmaceutical firms.

Major drugmakers also pay attention to clinical results of anticancer medicines at the meeting of American Association for Cancer Research every April.

The BIO International Convention in mid-2019 and the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) could also enhance the investment sentiment towards local pharmaceuticals and biotech firms, an analyst said.

“At major pharmaceutical and biotech conferences and academic events, we can check clinical data, global trends of new drug development, and companies’ R&D capabilities. Also, many licensing-out deals and joint development contracts occur frequently at such events,” said Lim Dong-rak, an analyst at Hanyang Securities.

“Shares of companies invited to an event or those owning related pipelines could react sensitively before and after the event,” he said.

Lim forecast that anticipations for local biotech and pharmaceutical firms with advanced technologies will continue, as more local firms are showing meaningful results of R&D.

Last month, Korean companies licensed out their products or technologies to foreign companies.

CrystalGenomics clinched a third deal to sell its degenerative arthritis drug Acelex (Turkey, Brazil, Russia). Yuhan signed an agreement with Janssen to license out Lazertinib, a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. AbClon agreed with Shanghai Henlius Biotech to transfer its technology for breast cancer treatment AC1010. Intron Biotechnology inked the licensing-out deal with Roivant Sciences for SAL200, a novel biologic to combat super bacteria.

“A series of deals at local drugmakers showed that their self-developed drugs passed the rigorous verification process of multinational pharmaceutical companies. This signals that their technology and competitiveness have been recognized,” Lim said.

Through licensing-out deals, the domestic companies will not only accumulate experiences of new drug development and enhance capabilities but re-invest the incomes from upfront payments and milestone payments into novel drug development, he added.

hwz@docdocdoc.co.kr

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