FRANKFURT, Germany -- Yposkesi, SK Pharmteco’s French contract development and manufacturing organization specialized in cell and gene therapy, is expecting to complete the construction of its new plant by the end of the first quarter next year, the CDMO’s CEO said Tuesday.
“After (the completion of the plant), we will qualify this manufacturing unit and we expect to get the authorization from the French authorities to operate the plant under the (Good Manufacturing Practice) by the end of next year,” Alain Lamproye, CEO of Yposkesi, told The Korea Herald in an interview on the sidelines of this year’s Convention on Pharmaceutical Ingredients in Frankfurt, Germany.
Lamproye added that the company should be able to operate the new plant for customers at the beginning of 2024.
The French CDMO broke ground for the second plant in June 2021 with about $71 million (100 billion won) investment. The new manufacturing facility will ramp up the company’s production capacity to a total of 6,000 liters, tripling the production capacity from the current 2,000 liters at the first plant. Once the second plant is up and running, Yposkesi will become one of the largest CGT CDMOs in Europe.
SK Inc, a holdings company of the South Korea’s second largest conglomerate SK Group, acquired a 70 percent stake in Yposkesi in March 2021 as SK looked to grow its biopharmaceutical CDMO business.
According to Lamproye, the French CDMO has 20 ongoing projects with 20 different biopharmaceutical firms and biotechnology companies across the globe.
“Some of (the 20 projects) are potential candidates for the manufacturing operations at the new plant. All depends on the successes of the projects in clinical trials,” he said.
Asked about future expansion plans at Yposkesi as the global CGT is projected to increase by 25 percent on average through 2025, Lamproye pointed out that the second plant has been designed in a way that it can easily add more manufacturing facilities.
The CEO also underscored that there are lots of opportunities for its CGT manufacturing businesses regarding its integration with the US Center for Breakthrough Medicines, which is one of the largest and most advanced CGT CDMOs in North America. SK Inc. invested $350 million in the CBM to become the second largest shareholder in January.
SK Inc. announced later in the day that Joerg Ahlgrimm, current CEO of CBM, will become the president of SK Pharmteco. It said the company will look to solidify its leading position in the global CGT CDMO market with the two footholds -- CBM in the US and Yposkesi in France.
By Kan Hyeong-woo (firstname.lastname@example.org), Korea Herald correspondent