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South Korea's biotech ambitions overshadowed by scandals

Clinical failures and fraud allegations overshadow industry touted as next frontier

An accounting scandal has rocked Samsung Biologics, which was supposed to be a new cash cow for South Korea's Samsung group. (Courtesy of Samsung Biologics)

SEOUL -- Investors cheered when Samsung Biologics announced Wednesday that its operating profit for the previous quarter had more than doubled on the year. Its share price accordingly shot up -- despite South Korea's financial regulators warning just a week before that biomedicine remains a risky investor bet.

That rare warning was prompted by a series of scandals and setbacks for an industry that was supposed to represent the next frontier for South Korea's economy.

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