(14 Sep 2022) Amgen Korea (GM: Sang-Kyung Noh) announced it co-hosted the 1st ever Pitching Day on Friday 2 Sep with the Korea Health Industry Development Institute(KHIDI) (President: Soon-Man Kwon), aiming at discovering and supporting promising local biopharmaceutical companies equipped with innovative technologies and capabilities, and selected 3 winners.
Organized by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and co-hosted by Amgen Korea and the KHIDI, the Pitching Day had 2 categories - Drug Discovery and Emerging Technology – for which a number of renowned biopharmaceutical companies in Korea equipped with innovative technologies and capabilities have applied since June. Of a total of 30 companies applied, 12 were shortlisted after the 1st review by the KHIDI and then 8 were selected as finalists through the 2nd round of evaluation by Amgen who had a chance to present at the Pitching Event on the Day.
Amgen gave 2 coaching or mentoring sessions to the 8 finalists before the Pitching Event with 4 R&D experts from global Amgen who are involved in breakthrough research in areas like Biomics, Biologics and RNA science as their mentors. The mentoring sessions served as a valuable occasion for exchange as these promising Korean biopharmaceutical companies had a glimpse of technology- and business-wise core requirements to enter the global healthcare market, and how they could potentially leap forward.
The mentoring sessions by R&D experts from global Amgen were followed by the Pitching Day on 2 Sep where 10 people in total, including a panel of judges from the KHIDI and mentors/advisors from Amgen like Philip Tagari, vice president of Therapeutic Discovery, who is thought to be one of the greatest minds in biologics development, participated physically or virtually for pitching presentations from 8 finalists, Q&A, and discussions.
As a result of the presentation, 3 companies were selected as winners: “Fortuga Bio” who presented about Immuno-cancer drug platform technology based on dendritic cells came in the first place and “Basgen Bio” and “Sci-Key Biotech” tied for the second place. Basgen Bio introduced “DEEPCT”, AI-based drug development cycle solution, and a noble biomarker “TLBM” while Sci-Key Biotech presented a solution for diagnosing and treating incurable diseases based on “Aptamer” technology.
These 3 winners received a total of 80 million won in prize with the first place winner given a special mentorship opportunity with the global Amgen R&D department as well. They will also have an opportunity to present at the Bio Day Science Program planned in Nov this year, to give them a chance to network and to be introduced to science at Amgen.
Sooa Kim, Medical Director, Amgen Korea, said, “The Pitching Day Amgen co-hosted with the KHIDI marks an exciting opportunity for us to share how Amgen could quickly grow into one of the leading biotechnology companies in the world with biopharmaceutical companies from Korea. The mentoring session of R&D experts from global Amgen, which was held for 8 companies that were nominated for the Pitching Day, in particular, is of special significance as it is reflective of Amgen’s commitment to real Open Innovation. Relentless R&D efforts rooted in biology have made Amgen a global biotechnology company so we will continue to network with home-grown biopharmaceutical companies and the KHIDI with as we look forward to them bringing their aspirations of becoming a partner for shared growth.”
Yong-Woo Kim, Lead of Biopharmaceutical Industry Team, Industrial Promotion Headquarters at the KHIDI, said, “We are so happy to work with Amgen Korea to discover and support promising biopharmaceutical companies in Korea with great growth potentials. The Pitching Day marked a meaningful exchange as technical strength for breakthrough drugs can directly be translated into the national strength. It also gave us a much-appreciated opportunity to further our understanding about local biopharmaceutical companies’ technical prowess. The KHIDI will continue to work with Amgen Korea to support and give more chances to key biopharmaceutical players in Korea who will shape the future of the pharmaceutical industry.”
Amgen Korea and the KHIDI will continue to work together for the development of the local pharmaceutical industry by again co-hosting the Bio Day Science Program in Nov following the Pitching Day.