C&R Research Nearing Deal to Acquire a US CRO
Leading Korean CRO C&R Research Initiates Active Global Expansion
“Advancement of Clinical Trial Industry is Key to Growth of Korea’s Pharmaceutical Industry”
First Korean CRO with 150 Projects Annually
Established Chinese Corporation 10 Years Ago, Actively Supporting Korean Pharma Companies’ China Expansion
Seoul, Korea, August 21, 2019 – “C&R Research is currently in the final steps of negotiation to acquire a U.S. CRO with 2-3 candidates. We are planning to complete the acquisition this year and begin business operations in the U.S.,” said C&R Research CEO Moon Tae Yoon. He was confident that M&A is the best strategy for Korean CROs to expand to the Global Market, for it requires a long period for them to gain capacity for global operation.
Yoon added, “Alongside Korean pharmaceutical companies’ drug development capacity, Korean CROs must improve their competence to a global standard in order for Korea’s pharmaceutical industry to advance further. The reality is that Korean pharmaceutical companies are currently heavily dependent on multinational CROs, and not Korean CROs, in running global clinical trials in the U.S. or Europe. Although such is the case, multinational CROs prioritize their multinational clients rather than Korean clients, which are therefore often poorly treated.” The global CRO market size is nearly 50 trillion KRW, and Korea’s CRO market accounts for only 1% (500 billion KRW). In Korea, there are 25 multi-national CROs and 25 domestic CROs, and Korean pharmaceutical companies generally run half of their clinical trials internally and half through CROs.
C&R Research, the first CRO in Korea, is the nation’s leading CRO that conducts more than 150 clinical trial projects annually for domestic pharmaceutical companies. The company’s revenue was 25 billion KRW in 2018, and it has approximately 120 pharmaceutical companies as clients including Yuhan, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Chong Kun Dang, Green Cross, Celltrion, Daewoong Pharmaceutical, Medy Tox, etc.
C&R Research was the first CRO to establish a Chinese local corporation and is continuously seeking opportunities in the Chinese market. Yoon emphasized, “Our Chinese corporation underwent many trials and errors, but it has been well-established over 10 years to attract not only Korean pharmaceutical companies but also Chinese companies as well. Our business goal is to become a Korean-Global CRO. Once we acquire a U.S. CRO, we plan to expand the business by conducting clinical trials in the U.S. for Korean CROs. Small to mid-sized pharmaceutical companies with limited capabilities to run global studies on its own will be our initial target clients.”
Yoon also expressed regret for the government support being solely focused on drug development of pharmaceutical companies. He said, “To increase the success rate of drug development, the clinical trial capacity of CROs must improve as well. Unfortunately, the CRO industry is not receiving enough attention with no government support.”
With its expertise developed from various clinical trial management, C&R Research is approaching various strategies such as equity participation in promising bio ventures and joint development of an immuno-oncology drug. “We have gained the ability to evaluate success rates for new drug candidates through years of clinical trial experience. We plan to continuously participate in joint development of new drugs through open innovation,” Yoon explained.