|CJ CheilJedang's building in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province / Korea Times file|
By Kim Jae-heun
The country's No. 1 food company, CJ CheilJedang, is gearing up to introduce a new biotechnology brand next month. The brand, CJ Bioscience, will offer products and services in the field of red biotechnology involving therapeutic and pharmaceutical applications.
It is part of CJ Group Chairman Lee Jay-hyun's plan to boost its "wellness" business, which is one of the four growth engines he aims to cultivate over the next three years.
CJ CheilJedang acquired ChunLab, a bioinformatics company, in July this year. ChunLab will merge with CJ Cheiljedang's existing red bio business Jan. 3. Recently, CJ Group also acquired Batavia Biosciences, a Dutch cell and gene therapy contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO), to pioneer the market together.
"CJ Bioscience is a company that promotes the development of new microbiome-based drugs. We are planning to use Batavia as a bridgehead to enter the CDMO business and gain a stronger foothold in the red bio business," a CJ CheilJedang official said.
CJ Group has already applied to register CJ Bioscience as a trademark in the fields of diagnostic reagents, drug research and development, RNA and DNA analysis, blood test machines and medical devices.
CJ CheilJedang expects the new subsidiary to strengthen its ability to develop new microbiome drugs together with ChunLab. ChunLab possesses the technology to analyze and diagnose strains and also has an advanced database that can help CJ Bioscience's plan to shorten the research period of discovering candidate materials for new drugs. They will also focus on improving the success rate of clinical trials.
CJ CheilJedang plans to establish a new subsidiary called CJ Well Care which was spun off recently from its health business division. The two red bio subsidiaries and one health functional food firm will speed up the development of the chairman's wellness business that possesses high potential for growth.
According to the Biotech Policy Research Center, the global microbiome healthcare market is expected to grow in size to around 9 trillion won ($7.58 billion) by 2023. The global CGT CDMO market is projected to grow 25 percent to 27 percent annually, reaching 16.5 trillion won to 18.9 trillion won by 2030.
The Korea Health Functional Food Association said the domestic health food market will expand in size to 25 trillion won over the next eight years.