The Korea Herald


SK Bioscience hires big pharma experts

By Yu Ji-soo

Published : Jan. 20, 2023 - 15:21

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SK Bioscience has hired Richard Kensinger (left) and Kenneth Lee to accelerate global growth. (SK Bioscience) SK Bioscience has hired Richard Kensinger (left) and Kenneth Lee to accelerate global growth. (SK Bioscience)

South Korean drugmaker SK Bioscience announced Friday that it has hired experts from big pharma companies including Sanofi in a bid to bolster its presence in overseas markets.

SK Bioscience plans to boost its qualifications to the highest possible standards through recruitment of world-class professionals and eventually venture into foreign markets, including the US and Europe.

“It is time for us to expand our presence into global markets. By upgrading our business through strategic talent recruitment, we will rise to the top tier of the vaccine and biotech industry," CEO Ahn Jae-yong said.

Richard Kensinger, an expert in global process development research with over 20 years of experience, was picked as vice president of R&D project management for its US unit, SK Bioscience USA.

Kensinger previously led research as a global bioprocess expert at multinational pharmaceuticals company Sanofi Pasteur, and was an executive director of process development and protein sciences at Affinivax, a subsidiary under global big pharma firm GSK.

He will be in charge of finding R&D projects, leading process research and seeking joint projects with global partners.

SK Bioscience is especially looking forward to Kensinger’s contributions to raising the standards of the R&D process system to meet FDA Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations, which evaluate the quality of pharmaceutical products.

The drugmaker also hired Kenneth Lee, head of commercial division for the Americas at biotech company GenScript ProBio, to lead the R&D Center in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, as vice president of biologic business development.

Lee is another seasoned expert who has worked at multiple biopharmaceutical companies both in Korea and abroad, including CrystalGenomics Pharmaceuticals, Samsung Bioepis, Gilead Sciences, BioMarin Pharmaceutical and Binex. His main roles will entail expanding the cell and gene therapies platform, discovering other biotech businesses besides vaccines and promoting future growth.