Hanmi Science Launch innovative ‘Green Bio’ drug development platform and manufacturing system


Hanmi Science, a holding company of Hanmi Group, will introduce an innovative biological drug development platform and manufacturing system by forming a strategic partnership with one of the most promising Korean biotech startup, Bioapp.

Hanmi Science, led by Chong-Yoon Lim, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bioapp at the latter’s headquarters in Pohang on June 16. This partnership will create value for both company and have strong potential to discover and develop innovative drugs and ground-breaking manufacturing systems based on the platform technology for production of plant-based recombinant proteins.

Bioapp, founded by Eun-Ju Sohn, a former research professor at POSTECH, is a pioneer of the plant biotechnologies for development and production of plant-based recombinant proteins. Having secured investment from South Korea’s largest steelmaker POSCO for its outstanding accomplishment, Bioapp has built a GMP-certified vaccine plant, lab and production lines in Pohang, South Gyeongsang Province. The startup is seeking a listing on KOSDAQ with its proprietary “Green Vaccine” technology.

Bioapp has successfully developed a mass production platform for plant-based recombinant proteins based on high-performing protein extraction and refining technologies. The company has also developed a “Green Nano” platform enabling it to produce plant-based virus-like particles (VLP) that are used to develop drug delivery materials, vaccines and therapeutics.

Hanmi Science expects to implement innovative measures of “Green bio”, one of six objectives from “Cydio sigma”. On June 15, Hanmi Science CEO Chong-Yoon Lim declared the company’s six grand visions called “Cydio Cigma” which stands for “CYber education, DIgital bio, Oral bio, CI(si)ty bio, Green bio and MArine bio.”

First, Hanmi Science has rolled up its sleeves to develop a vaccine for prevention and treatment of COVID-19, in collaboration with Bioapp. The company expects to produce antigen proteins of SARS-CoV-2 using Bioapp’s “Green Nano” platform for the COVID-19 vaccine development. Officials said that plant-based and refined recombinant proteins have significant benefits of high efficacy with little side effects.

Also, Hanmi Science is paying keen attention to Bioapp’s innovative production lines for plant-based proteins that outperform traditional lines in a smaller space and with less equipment.

The startup has proprietary technologies in plant transient expression and generation of transgenic plants which are novel techniques to develop biological drugs while traditional ways utilize protein expression systems of bacteria, yeast, insect cells, mammalian cell culture, transgenic animals.

Above all, Hanmi has high expectations for Bioapp’s indoor vertical farming system, which would enable the company to reach a production goal in a relatively short time. Hanmi said this method could be applied to mass production of the company’s other key biological drugs under development.

“Hanmi Group utilize not only traditional technologies of animal- and microorganism-based genetic recombination, but also newly emerging plant-based genetic recombination technology for production of bioloficals,” Lim said. “Hanmi would become a ‘game changer’ in the biological drug industry by gearing up with Bioapp’s technology.”

Lim noted the partnership with Bioapp would bring Hanmi closer to achieving the “Green Bio” vision, saying “innovation begins with the courage to confront challenges.”

Bioapp CEO Eun-ju Sohn also expressed high expectations.

“Under the partnership between Bioapp and Hanmi Group, the two will play an important role in making a paradigm shift in the industry,” Sohn said. “I also expect the partnership between Bioapp and Hanmi will make a contribution to the growth of the domestic pharmaceutical industry.”