Boryung CEO Jay Kim speaks during the biopharmaceutical firm’s shareholder’s meeting at its office in Seoul Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Boryung

Seoul-based firm joining hands with Axiom Space

South Korean biopharmaceutical company Boryung said Tuesday that it would set up a joint venture with commercial space station developer Axiom Space.

Under the partnership, the two companies are scheduled to tap into the space healthcare industry, which some observers expect will reshape the future of healthcare.

A mounting number of corporations is investing in the development of space health solutions, like increasing access to space and solving human healthcare-related problems in space.

Through spinoffs, such solutions for extraterrestrial missions are also projected to come up with new opportunities for the healthcare industry for terrestrial use, including diagnosis of the remotest patients.

“Boryung reached an agreement with Axiom Space yesterday (Monday) to set up a joint venture in South Korea,” Boryung CEO Jay Kim told the firm’s shareholders meeting in Seoul.

“The two corporations are set to decide on various details about the joint venture within two months,” he said.

After Jay Kim took charge of Boryung in 2019, the grandson of the firm’s founder Kim Seung-ho has put forth great efforts to wade into the space healthcare segment.

Early last year, the Seoul-based company funneled $10 million to Axiom Space. The former invested $50 more last December in the latter, which is headquartered in Houston.

Founded in 2016, Axiom Space has grown into a leading provider of human spaceflight services and developer of human-rated space infrastructure.

It runs end-to-end missions to the International Space Station while building its successor, dubbed Axiom Station, aimed at sustaining human growth off the planet beginning in the late 2020s.

Experts point out that the space healthcare industry is full of potential, although it also involves high risks.

“As more and more governments and corporations plan space missions, the space healthcare industry is predicted to grow fast in the coming years,” Seoul-based business tracker Leaders Index CEO Park Ju-gun said.

“However, it is not certain when they will be able to recoup their investment. Hence, it is a high-risk-high-return market for now.”

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.