The bioservice industry -- biologics contract research and manufacturing firms -- marked the most on-year growth of 23.9 percent in 2018, KoreaBio said Tuesday.
The association, which represents over 300 biologics companies here, surveyed 993 local firms between June 3 and Oct. 31 in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The firms spanned a diverse range of sectors -- biopharmaceutical, biochemical and bioenergy, biofood, bioenvironmental, biomedical equipment, bioinstrument and bioequipment, bioresource and bioservice industries.
According to the report, CROs and CMOs’ production output surpassed the 1 trillion won ($863 million) threshold for the first time in 2018, up 23.9 percent on-year. Domestic demand for the services rose 39.5 percent to 378.3 billion won in the year.
CROs and CMOs have globally certified facilities where biologics agents can be produced for purposes ranging from laboratory experiments to finished biologics drugs for commercialization. The biggest contract biologics manufacturer in Korea is Samsung BioLogics.
In 2018, the total production of Korean bio firms amounted to 10.4 trillion won, of which 50.5 percent was from domestic sales and 49.5 percent from exports.
Domestic sales came mostly from the biopharma industry, biochemical and bioenergy industry and biofood industry, mentioned in order of contribution for the 85 percent of the combined 5.29 trillion won.
For exports, biopharma took up 39.9 percent and biofood 35.8 percent. Bio industry’s exports in 2018 grew a marginal 0.6 percent on-year, due to the 2.6 percent tumble in biofood exports.
Throughout 2018, bio companies made investments of 6.6 trillion won, of which 35.2 percent went to their research and development and facilities.
Gyeonggi Province had the most number of people working in the bioindustry, accounting for 30 percent of the bio workers, followed by North Chungcheong Province, Seoul and Daegu, in that order. In 2018, the number of bioindustry employees grew 4.8 percent on-year to 47,047. Companies with less than 50 workers were the most, at 519 and accounting for 62.2 percent of the total number of bio-related companies here in Korea.
There were about 30 companies that had over 1,000 employees.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)