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CJ Bioscience eyes global microbiome market leadership

CJ Bioscience aims to secure 10 pipelines and 2 license-outs by 2025

From left: CJ CheilJedang CEO Choi Eun-seok, CJ Bioscience CEO Chun Jong-sik and Hwang Yun-il, head of bio business at CJ CheilJedang (CJ CheilJedang)
From left: CJ CheilJedang CEO Choi Eun-seok, CJ Bioscience CEO Chun Jong-sik and Hwang Yun-il, head of bio business at CJ CheilJedang (CJ CheilJedang)
CJ Bioscience, a biotechnology subsidiary of CJ CheilJedang, has been officially launched with its eyes set on becoming a global leader in the microbiome sector, the Korean food giant said Wednesday.

The establishment of the biotechnology firm is part of CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-hyun’s earlier pledge to strengthen the group’s wellness business, one of the four growth engines he had vowed to cultivate for the future.

CJ Bioscience on Tuesday held an inauguration ceremony with key management figures in attendance including CJ CheilJedang CEO Choi Eun-seok and CJ Bioscience CEO Chun Jong-sik.

"Today will be remembered as a great start that can contribute to humanity around the world beyond South Korea in the field of treatment and prevention for incurable diseases," Chun said during the inauguration ceremony.

"We will leap into being a 'global No. 1 microbiome company' with 10 pipelines and two license-outs by 2025."

Choi called for securing capabilities that are far ahead of competition to establish the foundation for innovative growth early, highlighting that the group’s mid-term vision is now in full swing.

In order to achieve the goal of becoming the world’s top microbiome company, CJ Bioscience set out three strategies.

The first plan is to have advanced research and development capabilities with bio-digital platforms by securing global microbiome data and expanding cohort studies. The second strategy aims to accelerate the development of a new drug on the back of shorter discovery periods and higher success rates of clinical trials with advanced platforms for new drug materials in the microbiome sector.

The last plan focuses on enlarging new businesses on the global stage. The company will expand its next generation sequencing sector and strengthen its business in the following areas: genomic diagnosis, contract development and manufacturing, and personalized health food.

"In the next two to three years, we will push for our new drug pipelines of treating cancer and autoimmune disease to begin the US Food and Drug Administration’s first-stage clinical trial and have license-outs through a joint research with global big pharmaceutical companies," said the CEO of CJ Bioscience.

"Microbiome-based bio-platform technology will have a big impact on the medical and healthcare sector and become a new global blockbuster like cancer immunotherapy or mRNA vaccines."

A scientific term used in various industries including health, food, livestock and environment, "microbiome" refers to the microorganisms living in the body.

According to global consulting firm Frost and Sullivan, the world microbiome market was estimated at $80 billion (96 trillion won) in 2019 and is projected to go up to $110 billion in 2023 with an annual average growth rate of 6 percent.

The Korean government announced last month that it will inject over 1 trillion won to foster the country’s microbiome sector over the next 10 years.

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)
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