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SK Pharmteco takes over US contract drugmaker CBM

By Song Jung-hyun

Published : Sept. 20, 2023 - 14:31

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A view of a Center for Breakthrough Medicines headquarters in Philadelphia (SK pharmteco) A view of a Center for Breakthrough Medicines headquarters in Philadelphia (SK pharmteco)

SK Pharmteco, a global contract development and manufacturing organization under Korean conglomerate SK Group, said Wednesday that it has acquired the Center for Breakthrough Medicines, a US cell and gene therapy firm.

The Korean firm exercised its right to acquire a controlling stake in CBM to obtain the management right of the Philadelphia-based cell and gene therapy CDMO, offering pre-clinical to commercial phase therapies.

The right was given when SK Pharmteco made its capital investment in the CBM worth $350 million in 2022.

The latest deal is expected to further strengthen SK Pharmteco's overseas production capabilities, following the acquisition of Yposkesi, a French developer and manufacturer of CGT products in 2021.

The operations of CBM will be integrated with Yposkesi to complete its supply chain for chemical and biologic drugs and CGT across the US and Europe, which together account for over 50 percent of the global pharmaceutical market.

“With CGT manufacturing sites in both Europe and the US, SK Pharmteco is closer to its goal of leading the global CDMO market,” said Joerg Ahlgrimm, CEO of SK Pharmteco.

“As we expand our manufacturing capacities across various fields including CGT and biological synthetic drug development, we will ensure to deliver end-to-end, multi-modality support for our global clients.”

Currently, CBM is constructing a global end-to-end CGT manufacturing facility spanning some 6,5000 square meters scheduled for completion in 2024. The facility aims to offer comprehensive services in the field of CGT including viral vector manufacturing, plasmid DNA development, cell processing and a full spectrum of analytical development and testing.

According to the global research firm Evaluate Pharma, the global CGT market in 2021 was estimated at $7.47 billion and expected to reach some $55.6 billion by 2026, with an average annual growth rate of around 49 percent.

This June, its French subsidiary Yposkesi has completed construction of its second CGT manufacturing facility, doubling its manufacturing footprint to 10,000 square meters, one of the largest in Europe.