The 2018 Global Bio Conference kicked off in Seoul, bringing together biotech regulators and industry experts from around the world to support the growth and overseas expansion of South Korea’s biopharmaceutical businesses.
In its fourth edition, the GBC has invited 126 speakers from 32 countries and has drawn more than 3,000 participants including government officials, pharma industry experts and academics.
This year’s GBC featured renowned speakers from the biotech industry and regulatory agencies to share insights on the latest industry trends and their areas of expertise.
Representing Korea’s biopharma sector was Seo Jung-jin, the founding chairman of Celltrion, a global leader in biosimilars development. Founded as a venture in 2000, the company has grown into one of Korea’s largest exporters in the pharmaceuticals space.
In a keynote speech, Seo highlighted Celltrion’s successful development of monoclonal antibody biosimilars, and how the lower-cost copycat drugs have helped make expensive biologics more affordable for patients around the world.
Other speakers at the GBC included Chang Byung-gyu, chairman of Korea’s Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, who highlighted the convergence of biotechnology and information technology as well as Korea’s efforts to forge a smart health care system backed by health care big data.
Mariangela Simao, assistant director-general at the World Health Organization, discussed efforts to improve global access to quality-assured medicines and vaccines. Wilson Bryan, director at the US Food and Drug Administration, discussed the latest in gene therapy development in the US and ways to speed up development procedures.
Additional special lectures touched on trending topics including the application of artificial intelligence and blockchain in the health care system, the impact of human data science on the biotech economy as well as successful open innovation and collaboration for new drug development.
The GBC will also be offering track-based forums for specific areas including vaccines, clinical trial statistics and combination biologics, as well as consultation meetings linking overseas drug regulator officials with local firms.
A workshop, jointly hosted by the WHO and the International Vaccine Institute, to discuss the development of a vaccine for the Middle East respiratory syndrome, is scheduled.
The Global Bio Conference is organized and hosted by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the Korea Biomedicine Industry Association.