Bukwang Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (Co-presidents and CEOs Ms. Hee-Won Yoo, PhD. and Mr. Sang-Hoon Kim) stated on the 17th that they participated in the Series A round of Acer Therapeutics Inc. in the US, a bio-venture company specialized in developing orphan drugs, investing USD 2 million (KRW 2.3 billion).
Bukwang is participating in the round along with TVM Life Science Capital, a venture capital company specialized in bio-venture investment in Canada. With this investment, Bukwang will acquire 306,000 shares of Acer (about 9.3%), becoming 4th largest shareholder. Acer utilizes drug repositioning technology to develop orphan drugs that could treat diseases like Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD).
Bukwang, along with TVM Life Science Capital which is a globally renown investment company in the life science industry, has so far completed investment in 6 bio-venture companies developing new drugs in the US and Europe. One of these companies was listed in NASDAQ. Also, Bukwang made investment in an American CRO last May through Medivate Partners (a private equity fund for healthcare and bio industry).
“Through such strategic investment in bio-ventures with novel drugs and CROs, we aim to read the global trends in new drug development and build an R&D network. In addition, we are using this knowledge and network in establishing the optimal R&D strategy for the global new drug pipeline we are developing,” Bukwang said.
Meanwhile, Bukwang is reaping high returns amounting to 900% and 400% from its investment in Korean bio-venture companies Anterogen Co., Ltd. and Eyegene Inc., respectively. Anterogen is a top-tier venture company developing new treatments using stem cells, while Eyegene is a developer of new protein drugs for ophthalmologic diseases.
Bukwang is pursuing a diverse range of R&D strategies, as can be seen from its footsteps so far; its strategies include acquisition of promising bio-venture companies, such as Contera Pharma in Denmark last November, and license agreement for a project followed by clinical trial and marketing, like the co-development arrangement with Melior Pharmaceuticals I based in the US. Bukwang is combining these strategies with investments in CROs and bio-ventures in Korea and abroad, with the hope of maximizing their synergy in the future.