South Korean Founder Of Anti-Wrinkle Shot-Maker Becomes A Billionaire

Despite a jittery inventory market, shares of South Korean biotechnology firm Caregen tripled over the previous yr, making its founder and CEO, Chung Yong-ji, a billionaire—the primary entrepreneur in seven months to hitch the nation’s three-comma membership.

Chung, who turns 53 later this month, is the most important shareholder of Caregen, with an almost 64% stake in his personal identify. His youngsters Min-woo and Yeon-woo every personal 0.05%. Forbes estimates the Chung household’s web price at $1.1 billion as of Friday’s shut.

Primarily based in Anyang, south of Seoul, Caregen develops cosmetics and healthcare merchandise primarily based on peptides, that are brief strings of the amino acids that make up proteins. Its hottest product is an injectable dermal filler that treats wrinkles. Caregen says it sells and ships its merchandise to greater than 130 international locations, and its greatest markets are within the Center East and North Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific areas.

The corporate reported that income rose to virtually 50 billion received ($40 million) within the first three quarters of 2022, a 13.4% leap over the identical interval a yr earlier, whereas its web earnings elevated 2.1% to 21 billion received ($16 million). Its anti-wrinkle shot was the most important income driver, accounting for 45% of Caregen’s complete gross sales.

Chung, Caregen’s CEO, based the corporate in 2001 and listed on Korea’s technology-rich Kosdaq inventory trade in 2015. He earned his doctorate in animal science at Cornell College, a grasp’s diploma in biology at Texas State College and a bachelor’s diploma in genetic engineering at Sungkyunkwan College in Seoul.

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Chung is the primary self-made billionaire in South Korea since July final yr, when Kim Jae-young, founding father of on-line sport developer Lionheart Studio, joined the three-comma membership after a $925 million funding from native web big Kakao. The South Korean inventory market is presently Asia’s second-worst performer over the previous 12 months after Hong Kong, with the nation’s benchmark Kospi index falling 10%. Earlier than the inventory market hunch final yr, South Korea minted eight billionaires within the house of about six months, together with the nation’s first two from the crypto trade.

Two different billionaires on Korea’s 50 Richest checklist—Search engine optimization Jung-jin and Cho Younger-sik—additionally made their fortunes from biotech. Search engine optimization, who cofounded drugmaker Celltrion in 2002, topped 2021’s Korea wealth rating with a web price of $12.5 billion. Search engine optimization was ranked fourth in the latest rankings with a fortune of $6.9 billion. In the meantime, Cho turned a billionaire in July 2021 after he took his Covid-19 take a look at maker, SD Biosensor, public on the Kosdaq, elevating $680 million. Cho debuted on the checklist final yr at No. 18 with a $2.35 billion web price.


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Jean Nicholas

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