South Korean biopharmaceutical companies chalked up handsome profits this year when other firms hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Shown above is the head office Green Cross near Seoul. Photo courtesy of Green Cross

Many corporations struggle to find their feet across the world because the global economy is hit hard by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus throughout this year.

But not all companies are languishing. Some are flourishing thanks to the pandemic as demonstrated by South Korean pharmaceutical firms, whose bottom lines have substantially improved this year.

Celltrion said late last week that its operating profit amounted to $100 million in the first quarter of this year, up 55.4 percent from a year ago. Its sales also jumped 68.2 percent year-on-year.

Celltrion, whose main business has been biosimilars, has worked on the development of a COVID-19 treatment. In March, its chief officially vowed to start a human clinical trial in July.

Celltrion is one of the country’s two major biopharmaceutical companies together with Samsung BioLogics, which has achieved a turnaround this year.

The Samsung affiliate suffered a $19 million loss during the first three months of 2019. But it managed to log an operating income of $51 million this year.

Another large-sized biopharma firm Green Cross’s 2020 first-quarter operating profit rocketed almost four folds from a year before, thanks to solid exports of its vaccines.

Meanwhile, Green Cross said Friday that it joined a global alliance designed to find a COVID-19 cure by taking advantage of blood plasma of recovered patients.

Such global powerhouses as CSL Behring, Takeda, Biotest, BPL, LFB, and Octapharma are members of the international partnership.

In addition, Green Cross’s unit named GC Lab Cell has attempted to use cell therapy technology to develop COVID-19 cures.


UPI News provides this article. _ ED.