JW Group chief technology officer Park Chan-hee, left, poses with ARCH Venture Partners co-founder Keith Crandell after signing a partnership at the office of the latter on July 13. Photo courtesy of JW Group

ARCH Venture Partners will offer technological platform

South Korea’s pharmaceutical conglomerate JW Group said this week that it had signed an agreement with ARCH Venture Partners, one of the largest venture capitalists in the United States.

Under the two-way partnership, JW Group will be allowed to use the ARCH Technical Service, which is geared toward discovering promising biotech startups.

“Through the ARCH Technical Service, we will attempt to promote open innovation with global biotech companies or startups,” a JW Group official said.

“We will try to find out research partners in various fields, including pharmaceuticals, nutrition, and data science, to name but a few.”

Experts expected that more and more South Korean medical companies would strive to forge an alliance with foreign outfits.

“ARCH Venture Partners is a major venture capital company in the high-tech area. The contract with JW Group is a big one. Industry insiders wonder how JW Group reached the agreement,” Bluepoint Partners Vice President Lee Seung-woo said

“South Korean pharmaceutical companies have deep pockets. They are vying to seek overseas investment opportunities through M&A or other ways. Against this backdrop, JW Group’s agreement would encourage them to go ahead more quickly.”

Created in 1986, ARCH Venture Partners have mostly invested in corporations co-founded by entrepreneurs and scientists, concentrating on information technology, and healthcare.

The Chicago-based capitalist made hundreds of investments.

Late last month, ARCH Venture Partners raised almost $3 billion for the early-stage biotech fund, which was its 12th venture fund, despite the bearish biotech market.

JW Group is composed of JW Holdings, JW Pharmaceutical, JW Shinyak, JW Life Science, JW Medical, and JW Industrial.

Its major affiliate JW Pharmaceutical was established in 1945 to become one of the top-tier pharmaceutical companies in South Korea.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.