Hanmi Pharmaceutical and Daewoong Pharmaceutical were included in the top 20 list of most innovative large pharmaceutical companies in the Asia-Pacific region, according to industry data.
Biotech firms such as Genexine and Huons also came in 15 most innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SME).
Clarivate Analytics, a provider of global academic information, released “Pharmaceutical innovation in the APAC region: a quantitative company ranking and future outlook,” on Monday. The report analyzed each government and pharmaceutical company’s innovation performance and ranking.
Clarivate Analytics selected 929 companies that had a chance to develop a new drug, out of 46,509 pharmaceutical firms. Then, it categorized a company with over 10 pharmaceutical products as a “top-tier” company, and that with fewer than 10 marketed products, an “SME,” to evaluate each company’s innovative ability. Major parameters to measure innovation included early-stage partnering, drug development, and maturity.
The analysis results showed that all Japanese companies ranked from first to the 10th among top-tier pharmaceutical firms. Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceutical and Daewoong Pharmaceutical took the 11th and the 12th place, respectively. Hanmi earned 735 in total score, and Daewoong, 700.
Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo topped the list with 865 in total score, followed by Takeda Pharmaceutical, Eisai, Astellas Pharma, and Otsuka Holdings. Within the top 20, there were 15 Japanese firms, two Korean, one Australian, one Chinese, and one Indian.
Other Korean pharmaceutical firms that ranked within 30th are Handok (22nd), SK Group (24th), LG Chem (26th), Yuhan Corp. (29th), GC Pharma (29th), and Chong Kun Dang (29th).
China was an active player in pharmaceutical SMEs. Four out of the 10 highest-ranking SMEs were Chinese, and the No. 1 position went to Hong Kong’s Lee’s Pharmaceutical Holdings.
Among the 10, Genexine was the only Korean firm ranking at 10th. Huons came at 15th, ToolGene, 31st, Helixmith, 48th, Medytox, 57th, and Medipost, 67th.
“South Korea is a strong challenger to Japan’s dominance” in the pharmaceutical sector, based on the government’s support and various incentives for biotech firms, Clarivate Analytics said.
Such government support and plans to attract investments have positively affected the overall innovation of Korean pharmaceutical companies, it added.
Korean drugmakers will continue to pursue licensing deals with multinational players for new drug development, which are expected to boost the growth of the pharmaceutical sector, according to Clarivate Analytics.
However, such deals do not always have the desired outcome, it noted. A recent return of rights from a multinational firm to a Korean company due to disappointing trials “could be indicative of an underlying lack of investment in Korea’s internal drug manufacturing capability and clinical expertise,” it said.
David Liu, managing director of Asia Pacific at Clarivate Analytics, said countries in the Asia Pacific region, except for Japan, have yet to succeed in linking pharmaceutical innovation to a significant global achievement.
However, economic changes and deregulation moves are already taking place in China and Korea, and this will raise drugmakers’ innovation and help them release new drugs, he added.
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