Korean biotech Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. is on a mission to globalize. And with six out-licensing deals announced last year, the company appears to be reaping the rewards of its investment in both new technology platforms and a worldwide network intended to provide expertise and global reach.
Hanmi was founded in 1973 as a developer of generic drugs. Today it sells new salts, dosage forms and fixed-dose combinations of generic drugs in China and Korea itself, and worldwide via partnerships. The company reported a net profit of W43 billion ($35 million) in 2014.
About 15 years ago, Hanmi set out to become a global company via a two-pronged strategy, according to SVP and CMO Jeewoong Son. The first prong was developing innovator medicines based on two platforms for biologic and small molecule discovery.
The second prong was partnering those medicines with global players, which led the company to begin building a worldwide network that includes KOLs, investigators, research institutes and contract service organizations to expand its project capacity and capabilities, plus learn how to advance its programs strategically.
"The Hanmi way of working was to play bigger than our size, through the network. That's our open innovation concept," said Son.
The strategy began to bear fruit about five years ago, when Hanmi started getting proof-of-concept data for its innovator products accompanied by an uptick in partner interest.
That culminated in a