The Korea Herald


Lotte Biologics completes acqusition of BMS drug plant

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Jan. 3, 2023 - 18:59

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A picture of drug manufacturing facility in Syracuse, New York, acquired by Lotte Biologics (Lotte Biologics) A picture of drug manufacturing facility in Syracuse, New York, acquired by Lotte Biologics (Lotte Biologics)

Lotte Group has completed a $160 million acquisition of US drug firm Bristol Myers Squibb, the group’s drug manufacturing unit Lotte Biologics said Tuesday.

With the latest deal, the country's fifth-largest retail-chemical conglomerate has made its official debut in the contract manufacturing market, after the group established Lotte Biologics in June last year as its biopharmaceutical subsidiary.

Lotte Biologics said the company completed all acquisition processes on Dec. 31 to absorb BMS, including its drug manufacturing facility in Syracuse, New York, as well as its existing contract manufacturing agreements to produce drugs worth $220 million over the next three years.

Lotte Biologics also announced a $70 million investment in the Syracuse-based facility to add manufacturing pipelines for drug substances, drug products and antibody-drug conjugates. It plans to add about 70 jobs to the BMS plants' existing workforce of 450.

The Syracuse-based plant, which has a biomanufacturing capacity of 35,000 liters, and its existing contract manufacturing agreements will allow Lotte Biologics to secure steady sales, starting immediately this year, the firm said. The facility is operating at 80 percent capacity, it added.

To find new opportunities, Lotte Biologics plans to participate in several large international pharma industry events, including this year's BIO International Convention and Convention on Pharmaceutical Ingredients Worldwide.

Lotte Biologics has also been invited to the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference this month. Lotte Biologics CEO Lee Won-jik will join the world’s largest health care conference to showcase their new vision and share more about its investment in the pharma sector.

Upon completing the acquisition of BMS, Lee said, “Based on the acquisition of Syracuse plants, Lotte Biologics aims to step up as a global contract development and manufacturing organization with a market valuation of 20 trillion won ($15.8 billion) and achieve 1.5 trillion won of annual sales by 2030, with an operating profit rate of 30 percent.”

Lee also mentioned that Lotte Biologics’ next contract manufacturing base will be located in Korea. The company is reportedly looking into injecting around 1 trillion won to build drug manufacturing facilities in local biopharma clusters, such as Songdo, Incheon, and Osong, North Chungcheong Province.

An official from Lotte Biologics said the company will decide and announce details regarding the manufacturing facility in Korea within this year. The official added that it is too early to talk about details such as the production capacity of the manufacturing facility.