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SNU Startup Gets KOSDAQ Nod

Posted December. 29, 2005 03:01,   


“ViroMed,” Seoul National University’s first venture will be listed on the KOSDAQ market.

Kim Sun-young, an SNU biological science professor and the CEO of ViroMed, said, “ViroMed, which was set up to develop gene medicines, will be listed on the KOSDAQ on December 29.”

Founded by Kim and two graduate students in November 1996, when the “venture boom” was yet to sweep the country, the company has grown to a small to medium-sized company capitalized at 3.7 billion won with more than 30 employees. It also successfully attracted about 10 billion won of foreign investment, including the investment of seven billion won from a Japanese biotech company in April 2000.

ViroMed is currently conducting clinical tests of an anti-cancer medicine and a treatment for leg ulcers, while also doing a clinical test of a medicine for chronic granulomatous disease jointly with the SNU Hospital. Chronic granulomatous disease is a rare disease that affects the immune system.

Also, the company is pushing ahead with the development and commercialization of gene medicines, cell therapy products and protein medicines, with the goal of developing five types of new medicine by 2007.

Kim said, “Support from the government, including the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, has been greatly helpful. We will take the occasion of listing on KODAQ to focus on developing new, state-of-the-art medicine.”

The company raised 1.67 trillion won by posting the competition rate of 431 to one in public subscription of its shares on December 22 and 23. It is estimated that the aggregated value of its listed stocks would reach 140.3 billion won based on the IPO offer price, and that its capital stock would be 4.67 billion won.

ViroMed will be the third to be listed on KODAQ among venture firms established by SNU professors, following “Macrogen” set up by Seo Jung-sun, a professor in the university’s School of Medicine, and “SNU Precision” by Pahk Heui-jae, a professor in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Se-Jin Jung mint4a@donga.com