Issue 5 Dr. B.G. Rhee, CEO of Green Cross Holdings



FEBRUARY 2015




We understand that Green Cross is one of the top leading pharmaceutical companies in Korea, and we admire the efficient and proactive expansion. What are the major business philosophies or strategies of Green Cross?


Green Cross Holdings always focuses on patients’ needs and the healthier global society. Our main business portfolio is plasma derived products, vaccines, recombinant products and cell therapy products.


For plasma derived products, we are building new facility in Montreal, Canada for North America market and expanding plasma collection centers in the US and China. For vaccines, we have developed hepatitis B vaccine in early 1980’s, and our vaccine still is one of the most sold hepatitis B vaccine in the world. Influenza vaccine and varicella vaccine were approved for WHO PQ (Pre Qualification), requirement for tender business in South America through PAHO. These two vaccines have more than 50% market share in this business.

Attending WHO Meeting: Byung-Geon Rhee attending 2009 WHO meeting when A(H1N1) flu epidemic occured, with WHO Director-General Marget Chan, UN Secretary-General Ki-moon Ban, and many vaccine experts

For recombinant products, we have developed GreenGene F, a recombinant Factor VIII for hemophilia A patients as 4th product in the world, Neulapeg, once a week formulation of G-CSF for neutropenia and Hunterase for very rare hunter syndrome patients as 2nd in the world. There are approximately 2,000 hunter syndrome patients worldwide and annual treatment cost is more than $300,000 per patient.


For cell therapy products, we are currently marketing Immuncell LC, autologous T cell for hepato cellular carcinoma and developing allogenic NK cell and CAR-NK. We are also collaborating with US companies for dendritic cell and stem cell.

We will continue to focus our research on great future impacts for healthier life of human beings.



Green Cross Holdings recently has been gradually expanding through M&As and focused investments in new drug development. These factors have been strengthening Green Cross Holdings’ global competitiveness. What does ‘globalization’ mean to Green Cross Holdings?


Compare to any other industry in Korea, the most Korean pharmaceutical companies have little experiences in global market. Only 20 percent of our sales come from the overseas businesses. Our goal is to increase it up to 50 percent.


Green Cross China is growing rapidly with excellent reputation for plasma derived products, and we will add recombinant and cell therapy products for Chinese market. Green Cross BioTherapeutics which is newly established in Canada will be the base camp for North American market.


We already have several strategic partners in the US for monoclonal antibody and cell therapy, and we continue to search for more investment and partnership opportunities with US/EU companies. .



You have a science background and still, you had been recognized as one of the most successful CEOs in Korean pharmaceutical industry. What are the pros and cons of being a scientist trained CEO in the pharmaceutical and healthcare company?


The pharmaceutical and healthcare industry is very unique and science background CEO has some advantages to make business decisions based on scientific confidence and principles. As a chemical engineer and biomedical engineer by training, I may have weakness in financials and other general business issues but could overcome by education and experiences. This was great experience for me to combine science and business.


Canadian Blood Fractionation Preparation Plant construction contract: Byung-Geon Rhee at signing ceremony at Investissement Quebec’s HQ in Motreal, Quebec

Healthcare industry is one of the most unique fields where collaboration of service providers, researchers, and technology providers is essential. How are you dealing with managing your business networks successfully?


Thailand Princess visiting Korea: Byung-Geon Rhee with Thailand princess when visiting Oh-Chang Factory in Korea to discuss about Green Cross exporting Blood Fractionation Preparation Plant in Thailand

Just like any other industries, networking is one of the key elements for business success. Since healthcare industry is so diverse, we need more collaboration from many different fields. Geographically, the major market of healthcare industry is still concentrated in western countries and we must work with them. Because of various cultural differences between Asian and western countries, I try to understand these cultural differences in business and adapt to global standard. This is how I manage my business network.









As an entrepreneur, what would you say are the top three priority assets or skill sets needed to be success in the global healthcare industry?


Passion, Trust and Attention to others. These are the top three priority assets I may say that apply to have the successful life, not just limited to be successful in the global healthcare industry. Doing a good business and living a good life must be the same.



You have been serving as a chairman of Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization (Korea BIO) since 2013. As one of the significant KOLs in Korea’s healthcare industry, how do you forecast global and Korean biotech industry in 2015?


I have attended JP Morgan Conference in January 2015 and felt global biotech industry is booming. Cancer immunotherapy is one of the hot areas and the trend will persist.


Korea has many world class industries like semiconductors, smart phone, shipbuilding, automobile, home appliances, etc. However, biotech industry is far below compare to the global level. Korean government has set biotech industry as one of the next generation growth engine. Cell therapy will be one of the areas we are moving aggressively towards, and mobile healthcare/ wearable device is another area of interest by combining our strong IT and BT.





B.G. (Byung Geon) Rhee, Ph.D.

President, Green Cross Holdings Corp.

Dr. Rhee is a President of Green Cross Holdings Corp and Chairman of Korea Bio Industry Organization. Dr. BG Rhee has more than 25 years of experience in various positions within the pharmaceutical industry. Before joining Green Cross, Dr. Rhee was a President and CEO of Expression Genetics, Inc., a bio-venture company in the US. Dr. Rhee has a particular interest in developing innovative ways for Green Cross to become a global leader in the healthcare industry. Dr. Rhee obtained his B.S./M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University and Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at Rice University, Houston, TX.


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