Olympus joins global health care firms at Songdo
[THE INVESTOR] Olympus on Oct. 12 announced the opening of a new training center in South Korea’s port city of Songdo, Incheon, joining other global health care firms that have set up new training bases in the city’s biotechnology cluster on the back of Korea’s growing medical and biotech sectors.
Olympus Korea’s medical training center will help local medical professionals learn to maneuver and operate the firm’s endoscopy devices in an operation room setting, it said.
The Japanese surgical equipment company said it decided to open a new training center in Korea given the country’s high level of medical technology and fast adoption of new technologies, including those in health care.
“By size, Korea is not a big market. However, it possesses a high level of medical technology as well as a readiness to embrace new innovation, making it an important strategic location for us,” Olympus Korea spokesperson Cho Hye-young said.
Other global health care companies have been pursuing similar moves in the Songdo biotechnology cluster.
Last October, German life sciences and chemicals company Merck opened a new biopharmaceutical production and development support center in Songdo, which it dubbed the M Lab Collaboration Center.
It is designed to provide local clients such as contract drug manufacturer Samsung BioLogics and biologic drugmakers Celltrion and Green Cross training on operating Merck’s biomanufacturing equipment, as well as optimizing related development processes.
Likewise, GE Healthcare’s life sciences unit opened a “Fast Track Center” in Songdo for the Asia-Pacific region last year, eyeing Korea’s rising demand for bioprocessing and biomedicine equipment. It has set aside a total of 24 billion won ($21.2 million) for the center through 2020, the firm said.
GE Healthcare’s center provides training on the steps involved in the development and production of biologic drugs, including cell cultures, cell therapy, membrane filtration, process optimization and purification for monoclonal antibodies, it said.
The latest Olympus Korea Medical Training & Education Center, dubbed K-TEC, spans 5,056 square meters. It is the biggest training center built by a global medical device company in Korea, surpassing those of firms like Medtronic, according to Olympus.
K-TEC, for which Olympus Korea invested 37 billion won, offers training facilities where local surgeons and medical professionals can learn to operate Olympus’ endoscopy equipment and its new surgical system integration solution Endoalpha.
By Sohn Ji-young/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)