Global life sciences company SK biotek has become the first Korean pharma to invest in the country after it completed the takeover of the former Bristol-Myers Squibb API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) facility in Swords, Co Dublin, at the beginning of the year. A solely owned subsidiary of SK Group – a Top 100 Fortune 500 Global Company which employs 84,000 associates globally with annual revenue of €99.7 billion, SK biotek has confirmed that it plans to operate and develop the Swords Campus as a standalone Contract Development Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), which will manufacture pharma products to specification for other pharmaceutical companies on a contract basis.

Additional API manufacturing capicity

SK biotek has also confirmed that it intends to add marketing, research and development talent, while investing to bring additional API manufacturing capacity to the campus. It plans on becoming a top tier global contract pharmaceuticals manufacturing firm by 2020. The acquisition of Swords Campus represents the progression of a growth plan for SK biotek to become a top-tier global contract pharmaceuticals manufacturing firm by 2020. “With Ireland being at the forefront of global pharmaceutical manufacturing excellence, Swords Campus brings with it a strong legacy and rich history – which spans 50+ years of excellence in pharma production," said Dr Junku Park PhD, CEO of SK biotek said. "The stellar reputation of Swords Campus both in manufacturing and regulatory affairs, and most importantly in its talented workforce who are joining us on the journey, will greatly help to drive our near-term ambition to become a leading global CDMO. "We plan to enhance technological capability and manufacturing capacity and build long-term partnerships with existing and new customers and look forward to growing our presence in Swords in the coming years."

First campus outside of South Korea

“Our early experience of operating in Ireland in working through the acquisition has been very positive. Ireland has a welcoming business environment and a talented workforce." he added. "The workplace and cultural engagement has been highly positive and IDA Ireland’s assistance with guidance, introductions and local knowledge has also been very encouraging and much appreciated. "The establishment of our first manufacturing campus outside of South Korea offers great opportunity for growth which will in turn create additional and exciting new opportunities for our staff in Swords." [caption id="attachment_39863" align="alignright" width="300"] Yun Hong and Dylan Cassidy. Yun’s father is Minsoo Hong, CFO of SK biotek. Dylan’s father, Ronan Cassidy, works on Swords Campus.[/caption] South Korean Ambassador to Ireland HE Kang-Il Husaid said: ‘SK biotek is a global leader in innovation in the pharmaceutical sector while Ireland too is a globally recognised centre of excellence in this field. One could say that Ireland and SK biotek are a perfect match.” “The pharma sector is one of our fastest growing sectors and makes a huge contribution to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports," said Minister of State Michael D’Arcy TD. "The government is keen to support dynamic pharma companies like SK biotek and I am pleased to hear of its ambitions for the future.” CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan said: “Today’s ceremony recognises the strong economic and cultural links between Ireland and South Korea. IDA Ireland is committed to deepening this relationship and striving to win further investment from South Korea. "Companies like SK biotek come to Ireland because of the high-level of plant engineering capabilities and our rich and strong pool of talent available in the sector. SK biotek has joined a world-class ecosystem of pharmaceutical manufacturing in Ireland and they will have the full support of IDA Ireland as they grow their operations here.”