The Korea Herald


SK Group spins off its life science unit

By 고영아

Published : April 1, 2011 - 19:02

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SK Group, the nation’s third-largest conglomerate, said Friday that it had spun off its life science unit in a bid to develop the business into a new driver of growth.

SK Biopharm’s total assets will reach 300 billion won ($260 million), and will be wholly owned by SK Holdings Co. The new unit’s main goal will be developing globally competitive new medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients, according to SK Group officials.

SK Biopharm had previous operated as a business unit under SK Holdings.

“The launch of SK Biopharm will significantly help the group gain momentum for nurturing the sector as a new growth engine,” SK Biopharm president Park Sung-hoon said.

“We will accelerate the development of innovative new medicines based on our expertise in the central nervous system and global clinical trials, as well as spur our custom manufacturing service.”

SK Biopharm runs a research center in Daedeok Research Complex in Daejeon, North Chungcheong Province and a clinical trial center in New Jersey.

In line with group chairman Chey Tae-won’s pledge to increase investment into life science and pharmaceuticals, the group in December completed a high-efficiency pharmaceuticals processing plant in Daejeon. The facility is expected to boost its custom-manufacturing service for global pharmaceutical firms.

The new pharmaceutical firm would also closely collaborate with SK Chemicals, which holds the largest market share in the local vaccine industry, SK officials said.

SK has conducted diverse research projects on and production of drugs for the central nervous system since it launched a drug development business in 1993.

By Koh Young-aah (