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A change of focus: B-MS sells Irish API plant to Korean SK Biotek

By Flora Southey , 19-Jun-2017

iStock/alexis84
iStock/alexis84

Bristol-Myers Squibb (B-MS) has announced it will sell its Swords, Ireland-based API manufacturing facility as part of its focus on biologics.

“As we focus on the future, B-MS is focused on a portfolio of transformational medicines characterised by high-value volume small molecules and an increasing number of biologics,” spokesperson Jeff Smith told in-PharmaTechnologist.

The Swords facility manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for medicines including B-MS’ and Pfizer’s Eliquis.

In-PharmaTechnologist reported on a lot recall of Eliquis last week.

B-MS continues to support the Irish pharmaceutical industry, with ongoing investment in its Cruiserath biologics facility and commercial presence in the Irish capital.

“As the portfolio advances, it is important that our manufacturing network reflects this changing balance to ensure we deliver for patients, now and in the future. B-MS will maintain a strong strategic presence in Ireland – with significant investment in biologics capabilities in Cruiserath and commercial and business functions in Dublin,” said Smith.

Korea enters the Isle

Contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) SK Biotech is the first Korean firm to invest in pharmaceutical manufacturing in the Emerald Isle.

The company, which has been a supplier to B-MS for 10 years, will continue to manufacture the current portfolio of small molecule APIs at the site for a period of time, said Smith.

The SK Holdings subsidiary plans to further invest in the facility, which will operate as a stand-alone CDMO, in order to increase its marketing and R&D capabilities.

The firm also intends to upgrade the city to increase capacity.

“We look forward to growing our presence in Swords in the coming years,” said CEO Junku Park.

Subject to SK Biotek’s receipt of environmental permits, the companies will complete the deal by the end of the year.

Smith said he could not disclose the financial terms of this agreement at this time.

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