Global Product Development Div.
Global Development Team Team Leader Jae Young Han
Please tell us about your job at Celltrion.
The Chemical Development Division, which oversees the full cycle of developing and selling generic pharmaceuticals, consists of Chemical Development Team, Clinical Trial Team, Global Regulatory Affairs Team, Global Business Operations Team, and Global Business Planning Team. The Chemical Development Team is tasked with selecting materials, developing formulations, sharing technologies, and producing batches for approval procedures. As the head of the Chemical Development Team, I work with other team members to manage various projects and supervise the development of more than 30 small molecule pharmaceuticals.
What are the competencies and qualities required of your position?
A project manager (PM) serves as a coordinator and facilitator. As we develop products, we constantly work with people from various organizations such as other teams at the company, material suppliers outside of Korea, and contract research organizations (CROs) and contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs). That is why we look for people with excellent communication skills. We also value problem-solving skills to resolve various issues encountered during development projects. English proficiency for collaboration with our partners overseas, attention to detail, and tenacity to see long-term projects through are also required.
What was your most memorable episode at work?
In February 2016, the Chemical Development Division launched a global generic project to develop antituberculosis and anti-HIV products for the global market. I served as the PM for the first product in the project, CT-G01 (a drug for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis). I oversaw the full development cycle from materials selection, R&D, technology sharing, production of approval batches, to the filing of documents with the WHO PQ and the FDA. As I wrestled with this unprecedented project, I did not have any colleagues to give me advice and encountered many unexpected issues. However, I was able to overcome the obstacles with the help from the head of the division, other team leaders, and colleagues. This year, we finally had the product approved by the WHO PQ and the FDA. I felt really proud of the success of CT-G01, because my efforts over the last three years have finally paid off.
Do you have any specific goals or visions? If so, what are they?
The generic pharmaceutical market has a lower entry barrier than the biopharmaceutical market, which means that we have to deal with more competitors in the market. It will be a tough ride as it always has been. However, with concerted efforts, I am confident that we will establish our presence in the US market. In the short term, I plan to dedicate myself to ensuring that our approved products can find their place in the US market. In the long term, I want to develop high value–added blockbuster products, such as IMDs and new drugs, so that the company can brush shoulders with global leaders such as Pfizer and Novartis.
Do you have anything to say to people looking for employment at Celltrion?
I am confident that Celltrion is a one-of-a-kind company in the Korean pharmaceutical/bio industries. The Korean market is already saturated, with generic drug manufacturers waging dumping wars. That is why we have to look for opportunities for further growth in the global market. Korean pharmaceutical companies have been thwarted by high quality/distribution barriers overseas. Some companies entered developing countries with less strict quality standards. However, they are experiencing difficulties as the countries raise such standards. Celltrion is the one and only Korean company that sells its own biopharmaceuticals to developed countries. The company also has the capabilities required to extend its success to the generic pharmaceutical business. I hope to work with global talents at Celltrion to change the Korean pharmaceutical industry and carve out a significant place in pharmaceutical history.