Korea and Australia strengthen research ties in early drug development

01 Nov 2019

Korea’s Yuhan Corporation announced on 1 November that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with one of Australia’s oldest research institutions, the 104-year-old Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) of Medical Research.

WEHI is one of the world’s leading non-profit and non-governmental biomedical research institutes, with major research areas in cancer, immune health and infection, and development and ageing.

The MoU will see Yuhan Corporation and WEHI conduct joint research on early drug development projects in common areas of interest and conduct researcher exchange programs.

In addition, a doctor-level researcher’s exchange program will be implemented. The program will provide Yuhan Corporation’s researchers with more in-depth scientific research experience and the WEHI’s researchers with R&D experience in new drugs in industry.

‘This MoU is our first overseas joint research with a non-profit overseas research institute,’ says Yuhan’s President and CEO, Jung Hee Lee.

‘We expect that this MOU will provide Yuhan Corporation with first-in-class drug development opportunities based on basic scientific research, which is regarded as a vulnerable area for Yuhan Corporation. In particular, WEHI and Yuhan Corporation have common research areas of interest such as cancer, immune health and ageing, which is expected to generate synergy.’

In May, Yuhan Corporation established an Australian subsidiary in Adelaide, South Australia, and is planning to diversify joint research and commercialisation through the local subsidiary.

Founded in 1926, Yuhan Corporation is Korea’s largest pharmaceutical company. It manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products on its own and through joint ventures with other global pharmaceutical companies.