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SK Inc.’s French bio arm sets to facility expansion


Yposkesi's manufacturing site. (SK Inc.)
Yposkesi's manufacturing site. (SK Inc.)
SK Inc.’s French bio subsidiary Yposkesi is set to build a second commercial bioproduction site in an effort to expand its footprint in the global biopharmaceutical market, officials said Monday.

The French company has announced the launch of project SKY, a plan to inject some 58 million euros ($70 million) in the construction of its new manufacturing plant. Slated for completion by 2023, the forthcoming facility will be one of the largest advanced therapy medicinal product, or ATMP, facilities in Europe.

The new building will house two additional production lines with several 1,000 liter-scale bioreactors, as well as a centralized warehouse, production and storage sites, and quality control lab resources, officials said.

Leading the project as key contractors will be CBI, a subsidiary of Vinci Construction France, and Pharmaplan, an engineering service for the pharmaceutical industry.

With the latest investment, Yposkesi and SK Inc. seek to address the shortage in the capacity shortage in the bio sector, especially in carrying out clinical tests and commercializing new therapeutic drugs, according to Lee Dong-hoon, executive vice president of SK Inc.

“SKY is the culmination of our industrial strategy, guaranteeing clients a range of quality services from early clinical drug development through all phases to the manufacture of large-scale commercial batches of ATMPs,” said Alain Lamproye, executive chairman of Yposkesi.

“This project will also showcase our outstanding technological know-how in bioproduction for gene therapy drugs.”

In March this year, SK Inc., the holding unit and investment firm of South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate SK Group, acquired a 70 percent stake in Yposkesi, a France-based contract development and manufacturing organization, or CDMO, that specializes in cell and gene therapies.

The given deal marked the company’s third acquisition in the global CMO business, following the acquisition of Bristol Myers Squibb in 2017 and AMPAC in 2018.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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