Why C&R Research is seeking U.S. CRO acquisition and KOSDAQ IPO
Aiming for ‘Global, Full-Service CRO’ and to ‘take Step as Comprehensive Healthcare Solution Company’
Seoul, Korea, April 09, 2019 — “The role of a CRO (contract research organization) is to execute the projects for the clients’ needs. If domestic pharmaceutical and biotech companies aim for global clinical trials, CROs should also prepare for global expansion. C&R Research’s endeavor to become a global, full-service CRO is in line with the clients’ needs,” said C&R Research CEO Moon Tae Yoon.
Yoon added that C&R Research will rapidly adapt to changes in order to keep pace with Korea’s growing biopharmaceutical industry, as prompt adaptation to the clients’ needs is the key to a CRO’s survival.
C&R Research is preparing to launch major projects to promote company growth, including U.S. CRO acquisition, GCLP-based Central Lab business, series B investment attraction, and KOSDAQ (Korean Stock Exchange) IPO in 2020.
Yoon stated, “We are planning to expand C&R Research through aggressive business development this year. Our goal is to become a competent Asian CRO with expertise in performing multi-national clinical trials.”
◇Secured Global Clinical Trial Competence… Planning to Acquire U.S. CRO This Year
C&R Research, established in 1997, is well-known as the first Korean CRO. The company has 1,400-1,500 domestic and global clinical trial experiences and a body of 350 employees (including subsidiaries). C&R Research has multiple Korean and international subsidiaries, including C&R-Lewei JV in China; C&R Healthcare Global in Singapore; and C&R Academy, LeadTrial, Q-fitter in Korea.
C&R Research has been actively seeking changes to keep pace with the drug development market in Korea by attracting investments for capital expansion and promoting global team projects.
The primary goal of C&R Research is to establish a global clinical network. C&R Research Director Byung In Yoon stated, “we have established a system that enables global clinical trials by organizing branches and networks in major Asian regions.” The systems Yoon indicated have been established and are currently running in China, Australia, Taiwan, and Japan.
This year’s final goal of the global team project is to acquire a U.S. CRO. As more Korean companies seek to perform clinical trials in the U.S., C&R Research intends to support such companies systematically by acquiring a U.S. CRO.
“We have been searching for a local (U.S.) CRO to acquire and are currently in the process of negotiating. Our goal is to complete the acquisition this year and support Korean companies run clinical trials in the U.S.” said Director Yoon.
◇ Aiming to be “Full Service CRO” to Support Complete Process of Drug Development
Another goal of C&R Research is to become a full-service CRO that performs not only traditional clinical programs but also technology incubating, joint development, manufacture, and distribution.
The company is currently running an incubation business in Singapore to assist Korean healthcare companies’ global expansion. Approximately 10 companies are currently moved into Singapore for local expansion and investment attraction. C&R Research also supports Korean bio companies with excellent pipelines by seeking measures to induce investment and collaboration. Earlier this month, it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with LegoChem to develop the next-generation gram-positive bacterial antibiotic Delpazolid and to establish a strategic partnership to launch Delpazolid in domestic and foreign markets.
The central lab business based on GCLP (Good Clinical Laboratory Practice), conducted in collaboration with another Korean company, is also to be developed. A central lab is an institution that collects samples from multiple hospitals before and after clinical trials and gathers it in one laboratory for examination to obtain accurate clinical trial results. C&R Research plans to provide a one-stop solution for clinical trials using its central lab. The company is also seeking to conduct a CMO business, which manufactures drugs for clinical trials, by investing in KBio Start, a subsidiary of Osong Medical Innovation Foundation (KBio Health).
Recently, in expanding its body of staff, C&R Research recruited a new HCO (Head of Clinical Operation) Soojin Choi. She has numerous clinical trial operation experiences in various fields including analgesics, anti-cancer drugs, vaccines, digestive systems, endocrine systems, and dermatological drugs, established through her times at multi-national pharmaceutical companies such as BMS Korea and MSD Korea.
◇Promoting Series B funding… To be Listed on The KOSDAQ in 2020
In May 2018, C&R Research was invested 5 billion KRW in the Series A investment from Kolon Investment and plans to launch Series B funding this year. The company is also planning to be listed on the KOSDAQ (Korean Stock Exchange) in 2020 with NH Investment & Securities as the organizer. Director Yoon stated, “Our goal is to be listed on KOSDAQ next year to raise funds to become a competent Asian CRO with expertise in multi-national clinical trials.”
CEO Yoon emphasized the significance of the Korean CRO industry by adding, “CROs create the path for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to move forward. The role CROs is crucial in the Korean drug development industry.”