The Korea Herald


SK chief inspects chip materials, biopharma affiliates in US

By Jo He-rim

Published : July 7, 2024 - 15:24

    • Link copied

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won poses with the employees of Absolics, SKC's glass substrate affiliate, located in Covington, Georgia, on July 3. (SK Supex Council) SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won poses with the employees of Absolics, SKC's glass substrate affiliate, located in Covington, Georgia, on July 3. (SK Supex Council)

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won inspected US business operations of chip materials and biopharma affiliates, the group's top decision-making body SK Supex Council said Sunday.

Currently, Chey is staying in the US to oversee the group's business operations and meet with business partners. Since the trip started on June 22, he has met with CEOs of global tech giants, including Open AI, Microsoft, Amazon and Intel.

Moving to the East Coast over the past weekend, Chey visited the headquarters of SK Life Science and Absolics, a semiconductor glass substrate maker affiliated with SKC, to inspect their production lines and receive briefings on sales.

On July 2, Chey visited SK Life Science, the US headquarters of SK Biopharmaceuticals in New Jersey, to be briefed on the sales of Xcopri, the company's brand of cenobamate tablets, which is the drug for the management of partial-onset seizures in adults with epilepsy.

Since its US debut in May 2020, the drug has become a prominent antiepileptic drug there for its effectiveness and safety, with the number of patients prescribed the medicine reaching 100,000, according to the council.

SK Life Science has been rebranded from Proteovant after SK Biopharmaceuticals acquired a 60 percent stake in the company last year, for the company has the core technology for targeted protein degradation. The company seeks to develop a pipeline using the TPD technology that has the potential to tackle disease-causing proteins.

During the visit, Chey encouraged employees and urged them to carefully watch for potential impacts of US policy changes, especially those aimed at countering China's influence.

"Closely review the potential impacts of the Biosecure Act, which the US government is preparing for enactment, on national security policies, and come up with response measures,” Chey told the employees.

On Wednesday, Chey visited the headquarters of Absolics in Covington, Georgia, to inspect the factory where the world’s first glass substrate product is expected to be mass-produced. SKC established Absolics, the advanced chip packaging company there, in 2021.

Glass substrates are considered a game changer in chip packaging, raising the performance and power efficiency of semiconductors for high-performance computing and artificial intelligence applications.

According to SK Supex Council, Absolics is expected to carry out sample tests of its glass substrate products with potential customers in the second half of this year.

In his meetings with the big tech CEOs, Chey promoted the advanced technology of Absolics and its envisioned production of glass substrate products, the council said.

Chey has been underscoring the importance of AI for SK Group's future growth, urging the top executives to come up with stronger measures to adopt AI, during the group's management strategy meeting, which he attended via video call in the US in late June.

"With the results of Chey's US trip, SK Group affiliates such as SK hynix and SK Telecom will be taking follow-up measures to reinforce the SK's AI ecosystem in collaboration with the big tech partner firms," an SK official said.