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HUYA Bioscience International (HUYA), a Chinese drug discovery and development firm, recently opened its first corporate office in Seoul, South Korea.

"This continues to build on HUYA's overall strategy to be the partner-of-choice for innovative pharmaceutical companies in emerging centers of excellence worldwide," said the company's release.

HUYA was the first company to leverage the Tripartite Cooperation Treaty between Korea, China and Japan to advance product development in Japan based on Chinese data. The November signing of an agreement between HUYA and the Korean Drug Development Fund (KDDF) will enable HUYA and the KDDF to form partnerships with local companies and research institutions.

"Korea is an emerging center of biopharma research innovation, and we are excited to open HUYA's new office in a location where talented Korean researchers are doing groundbreaking work," said Mireille Gillings, Ph.D., HUYA's president and CEO whose firm also is making inroads in China. "We look forward to collaborating with Korean innovators to raise Korea's profile as a global center of biopharma innovation and make exceptional therapies available for patients."

Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF) is a cross-ministry full-cycle R&D project of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which have provided support for new drug development. It is a global new drug development project with the investment of 1.6 trillion won (US$1.37 billion, evenly split between government and private-sector funds) for nine years until 2020, with the goal of developing 10 or more new global drugs and realizing a advancement of the new drug R&D investment strategy platform targeting the global market.

Earlier this month, KDDF announced it had signed an MOU with Johnson & Johnson Innovation aimed at developing and commercializing healthcare products originating from Korean organizations for the global market. "KDDF is focusing on joint R&D programs to maximize the possibility of out licensing, reflecting the demand from global big pharmaceuticals and spread advanced new drug development know-how to the domestic industry," read an English-language translation of the KDDF release. "The joint R&D program with Johnson & Johnson Innovation is the start of this initiative."

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