SK biotek, first South Korean pharma-company to invest in Ireland
The Irish and South Korean flags will be ceremoniously raised today in the grounds of a pharmaceuticals manufacturing campus in Swords, Co. Dublin, which has been acquired by SK biotek, a global life sciences company, the first Korean pharma-company to invest in Ireland.
SK biotek is 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 announced the acquisition of the former Bristol-Myers Squibb API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) facility in Swords, Co. Dublin in June 2017 and completed the deal by year-end 2017.
Over 360 staff employed on Swords Campus, dedicated to API Operations, transitioned to SK biotek employment from 1st January 2018.
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.
SK biotek has confirmed that it plans to operate and develop Swords Campus as a stand-alone Contract Development Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), which will manufacture pharma products to specification for other pharmaceutical companies on a contract basis. SK biotek has also confirmed that it intends to add marketing, research and development (R&D) talent, while investing to bring additional API manufacturing capacity to Swords Campus.
Speaking at the ceremonial flag-raising ceremony Dr. Junku Park PhD., Chief Executive Officer of SK biotek, commented: “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. 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.”
Dr. Park added, “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. The work-place 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.”
Speaking at the event, Minister of State Michael D’Arcy TD said: “This investment by SK biotek is a great vote of confidence for what Ireland has to offer, particularly our talented and flexible workforce. 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. The Government is keen to support dynamic pharma companies like SK biotek and I am pleased to hear of its ambitions for the future.”
Participating in the ceremonial flag raising in Swords the South Korean Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mr. Kang-Il Hu 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 Ambassador also said: “This investment by SK biotek represents an opportunity to set a new benchmark for future Korean-Irish economic partnerships.”
Commenting the 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.”