Indonesia's Kalbe and South Korea's Genexine link up for biomedical work

Indonesia's Kalbe Farma has signed a deal with South Korea's Genexine in which it will invest $9.1 million to develop biopharmaceutical products and create an R&D laboratory in Indonesia to research the hormone erythropoietin, which helps produce red blood cells, according to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review.

Kalbe officials said the company will set up clinical trials for the drug with a view to produce "biomedical products" in Indonesia and will construct a biosimilar manufacturing plant near Jakarta.

Kalbe said this was not the only collaboration it was involved in and was in discussions with China's Shandong Kexing Bioproducts and Japan's Daiichi Sankyo.

Kalbe is looking to take advantage of Indonesia's large population and rising income levels as well as the fact that the government introduced a national health insurance program in 2014.

The move by Genexine is part of its plan to expand its presence outside of South Korea and follows a $125 million outlicensing deal it signed with China's Tasgen Bio-Tech to develop protein therapies in China.

- here's the story from Nikkei Asian Review