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- SK Inc. to invest $350M through SK pharmteco

- Entering U.S. CGT market nine months after acquiring Yposkesi in France, SK pharmteco secured biologics CDMO capability in both Europe and the U.S.

- CBM has assembled top CGT industry experts and possesses extensive CGT drug manufacturing capabilities, and will construct world’s largest CGT manufacturing facility by 2025

- SK Inc. will accelerate its growth into a global top 5 CDMO for chemical-biologic drugs, and will supply chemical-biologic new drugs around the world

SK Inc., the strategic investment holding company of SK Group, has accelerated its jump to become a leading cell and gene therapy (CGT) contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for the pharmaceutical industry.

SK Inc. announced on January 9th that it has invested $350 million in the Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM), a Pennsylvania-based CGT CDMO, to become the second-largest shareholder.

Center for Breakthrough Medicines and SK Inc Celebtrate Deal
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines‘ headquarters at the Discovery Labs, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

The investment came nine months after its acquisition of Yposkesi, a French CGT CDMO, in March 2021. With this investment, SK Inc. not only has secured a strong foothold in the U.S. but has gotten closer to its goal to become a leading CDMO that produces both chemical APIs and biologic drugs.

CGT includes revolutionary, personalized treatments for cancer and genetic diseases. CGTs are expected to show high-growth rates due to what some experts believe are superior curative effects.

CBM is the largest and most comprehensive single site cell and gene therapy CDMO servicing pre-clinical to commercial phase therapies, following a molecule from idea to launch and providing a full spectrum of services all in one location. CBM provides pre-clinical development through commercial manufacturing services, including process development, the design and manufacture of plasmid DNA, viral vector manufacturing, cell banking, cell processing, testing and analytics, and fill/finish.

CBM’s competitive strength lies in its unparalleled CGT technology, highly skilled management and R&D staff, plans for the world’s largest manufacturing capability and its location, which is optimal to pursue the CGT business.

CBM is located in the Greater Philadelphia region, the core of the “Cellicon Valley,” which is the only biopharma cluster in the U.S. specializing in CGT. With over 100 universities and hospitals, 1,700 pharma companies and 70,000 experts, the “Cellicon Valley” is the most optimal location to pursue the CGT business in terms of sourcing CDMO-related technology, clients and talents.

CBM has an ambitious plan to construct a 700,000 square feet GMP-grade CGT facility by 2025, which will be the world’s largest of its kind. It also has plans to hire over 2,000 new employees relating to the facility during the next four years.

Regarding its chemical APIs CDMO business, SK Inc. has already established a manufacturing platform across the U.S., Europe and Korea in 2018, and based on revenue size, it is already regarded as one of the world’s top 5 chemical API CDMOs. With its investment in CBM, it is one step closer to becoming a world-leading CDMO that can manufacture both chemical and biologics new drugs in the major pharmaceutical markets of the U.S., Europe and Asia.

“The partnership with SK will allow us to manufacture groundbreaking advanced therapies which prolong healthy living and eradicate life threatening diseases like cancer and heart disease. The SK CBM partnership will enable extraordinary and brilliant doctors and scientists, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to obtain approval and commercialize thousands of pending new therapies. We believe our partnership with SK will contribute to one of the most significant positive impacts on mankind in our lifetimes by bringing the cost of these extraordinary therapies down to a level that is affordable to everyone,” said Brian O’Neill, the founder and chairman of the Board of CBM.

Dong-hoon Lee, executive vice president of Bio Investment Center at SK Inc. commented, “With the successful investment in CBM, we have secured a crucial foundation for realizing the ‘CMO Financial Story’ which envisions completing the chemical-biologic drug value chain across the U.S., Europe and Asia by 2025. I am certain that we will rise to become one of the world’s top CGT CDMO by focusing our energy on growing our biologics CDMO business”.

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