SCL Healthcare Central Laboratory – The Forefront of Research and Clinical Trial Studies in Korea

Kyoung Ryul Lee,M.D., Ph.D, CEO, SCL Healthcare Central Laboratory | Insights Care

Healthcare is moving from volume-based care to value-based and with it, we can expect the clinical standards to rise and improve quality of life. Research and development of various medicines, therapeutics, and methodologies are not only taking us closer to achieving new milestones in healthcare, but also in revamping the efficiency and reliability of already existing techniques. A leading Korean company, that has been instrumental in carrying out research and development for various healthcare providers is SCL Healthcare Central Laboratory (SHC C-LAB).

With three core values- Service, Quality and Research, SHC C-LAB has developed into the largest nationwide clinical laboratory and has acquired the reputation of best reference laboratory in Korea.       SCL Healthcare Group is led by its CEO, Kyoung Ryul Lee, M.D., Ph.D. To understand more about the laboratory, its services, its journey through all these years, we bring to you an exclusive interview with Mr. Lee. He discusses, in detail, about the company, their future plans, and various other interesting aspects of the SHC C-LAB and the industry.

  1. Kindly share in brief about SCL Healthcare Central Laboratory. Also, tell us about your vision and mission.

SCL Healthcare Central Laboratory (SHC C-LAB) is the Korea’s first central Laboratory dedicated to clinical studies.

We started central Laboratory business since 2006 as the first and largest central laboratory in Korea.

We have been dedicating and carrying out our works in developing new drugs and clinical trials (phase I, II, III, IV), Investigator Initiated Trials (IIT), Sponsor Initiated Trials (SIT), and experiments for research papers. Our experts on clinical trials and experiments help researchers in all process from consultation to result reporting.

We promote healthcare that will continue onto future generation by harmonizing the physical, mental and environmental states through consideration and respect.

  1. Tell us something about the CEO/Founder/Director/MD of the laboratory.

A CEO of SCL Healthcare Group, Kyoung Ryul Lee, M.D., Ph.D, is a medical doctor specialized in Laboratory Medicine.  He graduated Yonsei University College of Medicine. He was a professor at Yonsei University. He became a CEO of SCL Healthcare Group in 2007.

He emphasizes to maintain our three key values which are quality, service and R&D.  He received the “Order of the Polar Star” from Mongolian government for the first time in field of medicine in 2009, because SCL Healthcare Group founded MOBIO diagnostic Medical Laboratory in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.  He also received Global Leader Award from Global Community in 2017. He highlight that the SCL Healthcare Group will double our efforts to satisfy our clients, therefore we will be dedicated to becoming a truly patient-centered Central Laboratory that focuses on evidence-based medicine.

  1. What influenced you to start a healthcare laboratory? Share with us your journey so far.

As the advancement in new drugs development progresses more globally, the importance of a central laboratory business is being increasingly emphasized in Korea as it is in the United States and Europe.

In order to meet these growing demands, SCL Healthcare, a pioneer in clinical diagnostics, established the Korea’s first central laboratory.

  1. What was the turning point for SCL Healthcare Central Laboratory, according to you?

As clinical trials have increased and customer’s needs have been diversified, I founded SCL Healthcare in 2010 by separating from SCL (Seoul Clinical Laboratories). In addition to the Central Laboratory, we have expanded our business to the Companion Bio-marker Center, Medical Diagnosis, and Bio Logistics. Since then, our clients have high satisfaction and we have currently the highest market share in the domestic Central Laboratory field.Through both quantitative and qualitative improvements, SHC C-LAB will grow into a key global company.

  1. What are the unique points/specialties of the laboratory?

Tests performed in SHC C-LAB maintain continuity using validated methods. Test results are generally kept in storage until the application for new drug approval and for a longer period of time as requested by our customers.

Since the process of developing new drugs takes long, it is usually desired that the same index is used during a clinical study. In order to meet the strict demands, we perform tests continuously with the same validated-test methods.

By unifying reference ranges and eliminating deviations that may occur during the analysis of each site, we produces test results that are more easily interpreted and have continuity.

In addition, SHC C-LAB reports test results with a data management process specialized for clinical studies and that allows fast and convenient bio-statistical analysis.

  1. Apart from technology and applications, what are the other services and solutions that your lab provides?

SHC C-LAB puts unsurpassed resources, knowledge and experience in laboratory management to work for customers on each clinical study.

We provide experienced project management staff to support the high level of quality.

  • National and international communications
  • Clinical study knowledge resources
  • Risk management focus with a customer service
  • Support for kits
  • Remnant specimen storage
  • Study data management
  • Quality assurance
  1. How advanced are your lab equipment?

SCL Healthcare has state-of-the art equipment including the largest Laboratory Automation System (LAS) in Asia. We have optimal environment for central laboratory testing such as automatic ventilation, automatic temperature and humidity control system for all kinds of esoteric test items.

  1. What critical measures do you take to ensure the safety of your employees in the lab?

All employees wear a gown, gloves, and a mask when tests are performed and we have safety equipment such as eye wash station and emergency shower station.

We also conduct safety management training once a month.

  1. Being the key person of the company, one of the main responsibilities is to ensure that the needs of the clients are being met properly. How do you co-ordinate with your team members to guarantee client satisfaction?

SCL Healthcare pursues field management, speed management, and quality management as its management policy.

In order to perform accurate test quickly and correctly, employees have ample opportunity and complete the necessary training. The company respects all employees and is committed to maintaining a good and safe working environment.

In addition, in order to communicate with clients, staff members regularly visit clients and we develop and provide various tests for the diagnosis and research of diseases through professional academic activities.

  1. Share with us the most spectacular client experiences?

When we attended an international conference, one of the biggest CROs (Clinical Research Organizations) visited our booth and had a meeting. The company was interested in expanding its business in Asia including Korea, and was an opportunity to introduce our company and talk about possible areas for cooperation. The CRO’s executives then visited our laboratory in Korea, toured the facilities, and discussed specific partnerships.

Currently, we are working collaboratively in many parts of domestic and overseas clinical trials, and SHC C-LAB are participating in the field of new drug development with pride as Korea’s representative Central Laboratory.

  1. What are the awards and accolades your company has received so far?

Certifications:

  • Acquired CAP (College of American Pathologists) Certification in 1998 as Korea’s first Laboratory participated in CAP
  • Certified NGSP (National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program) Level 1 Laboratory every year
  • Received ISBER (International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories, USA)
  • Acquired QMEQAS (CTQ/INSPQ external quality assessment scheme)
  • Acquired CDC LSP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Lipid Standardization Program)
  • Acquired CDC Newborn (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology)
  • Acquired CDC LAMP (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Lead and MultiElement Proficiency)
  • Received CDC VDSCLP (CDC Vitamin D Standardization-Certification Program) as Asia first laboratory in 2015
  • Received G-EQUAS (German External Quality Assessment Scheme)
  • Received ISO9001 quality management certification in Clinical Laboratory
  • Acquired GCLP (Good Clinical Laboratory Practice) in 2019

Awards:

  • 2017 ‘Korea Global Leader Grand Prize’ in Field of Global Healthcare
  • 2015 ‘Medical Asia Grand Prize’ in Field of Health Diagnosis
  • 2015 ‘Korea Minister Award of Ministry for Health and Welfare’ in Field of

Medical Korea

  • 2014 ‘Medal of Meritorious Service’ in Mongolia from Mongolia National Railroad Administration
  • 2012 Appreciation Plaque from Mayor of Seoul
  • 2011 ‘Achievement Award for the Medical Service’ in Mongolia from Mongolia Ministry of Health
  • 2009 ‘Polar Prize’ in Mongolia Medical Market from Mongolia President
  • 2009 ‘500 Great Leaders in the World’ from American Biographical Institute
  • 2009 ‘Korea Minister Award of Ministry for Health and Welfare’
  1. What are your future goals? Also, tell us about the ongoing or upcoming projects your company could launch.

Our long-term vision is to leap forward as a “Global Medical Company”. We plan to implement the strategy step by step such as establishing new business processes and expanding our global market share. With new paradigm of the medical environment in time of needs, SHC C-LAB will continue to present new business models for customer satisfaction and patient-centered healthcare.

  1. What advice would you give to the budding entrepreneurs in the industry?

As clinical trials market is expanding and become more complex, the role of the central laboratory is becoming increasingly important.

Only laboratories those are well aware of the trends of trials and can work with customer’s needs will be able to grow into a key player in the clinical trial market.

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