FROM THE PUBLISHER
The world, including the medical community, is seeing unprecedented instability. In the U.S., another attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (A.C.A.), or Obamacare, is underway, which if successful, is expected to result in 24 million Americans losing their health insurance. In addition to domestic policy restraints, international relations has also become a challenge in the medical field. With added global tension subsequent to the unfortunate outcome of Otto Warmbier, an American university student who was convicted of theft in 2016 upon visiting North Korea, the efforts to improve the healthcare system worldwide is progressively becoming more difficult, especially since there is now a U.S. travel ban to North Korea.
Nonetheless, these setbacks do not impede the efforts towards advancement in the medical industry. In fact, innovation in the healthcare arena has forged greatly in recent years. I personally will be involved in a study that will compare my selection of a drug to that of IBM Watson, AI, an artificially intelligent operating system, which is only one of several processes that mark the beginning of computer analytics in medical decision making.
In this issue, we feature another Korean leader in healthcare innovation, Mr. Ki-Young Sohn, Chairman and CEO of Enzychem Lifesciences. Mr. Sohn as well as a number of other Korean entrepreneurs are representative of the burgeoning Korean Biopharma efforts. The Korean biopharmaceutical companies are relative newcomers in global terms, and their progress is gradual; yet, they are already seeing R&D come to fruition with new pharma products.
In addition, we feature CEO of Kinexum Thomas Seoh in the entrepreneur interview for this issue of WKMJ. Kinexum is a company that focuses on various aspects of drug development and approval, as it is an extensive, complex process to file for a drug or medical device. Citing the pharmaceutical field as an “old school industry” in need of new ideas and innovation, Mr. Seoh wishes to see a growth in the number of “start-ups,” and encourages prospective new businesses to implement new methods of entrepreneurship.
Innovation is vital for a world that is undeniably changing at an accelerated pace. Who would have thought a relatively young car company like Tesla would overtake Ford in value in under ten years since its launching? Yet, this start-up mentality that Elon Musk possessed when pioneering Tesla is the attitude the healthcare industry needs to carry in coming years. Elon Musk has actually now entered the medical field with Neurolink, specializing within the brain computer interface sector, and hopefully, his spirit of innovation will not only improve the current state of healthcare, but also inspire others in younger generations to do the same. What we need is a revolution in the form of innovation.
David Y. Ko, MD
President of WKMO
Keck School of Medicine of USC
FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Korean pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are branching beyond the usual licensing-focused business model, and are now transitioning to more partnerships and joint ventures with U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies. This shift can prove to be a pivotal point in Korea’s healthcare industry because if Korean biopharma companies discover global blockbuster drug candidates, monetizing them in the worldwide market through their own capabilities would allow them much greater participation in the overall industry revenue potential.
For the July edition of WKMJ’s Cover Story, we feature a passionate achiever and inspiring leader in the Korean biopharmaceutical industry, Mr. Ki-Young Sohn, the chairman and CEO of Enzychem Lifesciences. Enzychem Lifesciences has been developing new drug candidates to address the unmet medical needs of immunocompromised patients. Furthermore, it launched major global initiatives and clinical programs to help facilitate licensing, strategic partnerships and investment opportunities for the self-developed global new drug candidate, EC-18. Mr. Sohn shared his vision with our readers, and conveyed his confidence that Enzychem is ready to take part in global biopharmaceutical innovation in order to fulfill the essential, yet unmet needs of patients.
In our Entrepreneur Interview, we meet Thomas Seoh, CEO of Kinexum. Having had extensive experience in law and business leadership, he defines a good leader as one who holds three mindsets; a focus on customer benefits as well as technical features, perseverance and belief tempered by evidence, and vision, tempered by management risk.
Moreover, this month’s articles feature new trends and issues of the bio-health industry. In partnership with Biocentury and Biopharma Insight, we share significant and recent industry news with our readers.
Various writers and experts impart their knowledge and insights as co-authors in this edition of WKMJ. I sincerely hope that our readers will find these exciting selections of articles to be helpful and inspiring.
Enjoy the read!
DoHyun Cho, PhD
Editor in Chief
President & CEO of W Medical Strategy Group
Chairman of New York Health Forum