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16 Jun 2017

BMS to sell manufacturing facility in Swords, Ireland to SK Biotek

Company shifts manufacturing focus in Ireland to reflect growing biologics portfolio with ongoing investment in Cruiserath biologics facility.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and SK Biotek have signed a definitive purchase agreement to sell BMS’s small molecule API manufacturing facility in Swords, Ireland, to SK Biotek, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SK Holdings, based in Seoul, South Korea. The companies intend to complete the deal by the fourth quarter 2017, at which time SK Biotek will continue to manufacture the current portfolio of small molecule pharmaceutical products at the site.

The Swords facility currently manufactures APIs for a number of medicines including BMS’s and Pfizer’s Eliquis. Through the years, the site has produced medicines that have helped millions of people in the fight against serious diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS and psychiatric disorders. SK Biotek will operate the plant as a stand-alone CDMO, and intends to add marketing, R&D talent, and invest in upgrades to bring additional capacity to the site. BMS and SK Biotek will manage a smooth transition to ensure reliable supply for customers and patients.

“This transaction is an important step to achieve our goal of becoming a leading global CDMO,” Junku Park, CEO of SK Biotek, commented. “It allows us to enhance technological and manufacturing capacity and build long-term partnerships with existing and new customers. We have chosen to invest in Ireland because of the welcoming business environment and the exceptionally talented workforce, and we look forward to growing our presence in Swords in the coming years. We are very pleased to welcome the Swords facility to SK Biotek.”

“We value our partnership with SK Biotek and believe today’s agreement will continue the vital role the Swords facility plays for its employees, the community and patients,” said Lou Schmukler, president, Global Product Development & Supply, BMS. “Today’s agreement is an important step in the ongoing evolution of our manufacturing network to support the company’s innovative portfolio. Our continued investment in Ireland is critical for our ability to deliver transformational medicines to patients, both through the increased biologics capabilities we are building in Cruiserath and our ongoing commercial and business presence in Dublin.”

SK Biotek and BMS have an established relationship in pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply. SK Biotek has been a supplier to BMS for 10 years and a key producer of commercial API starting materials and chemical intermediates. With state of the art R&D facilities, multi-purpose manufacturing plants and a deep foundation in manufacturing technologies, SK has provided a high degree of flexibility and quality service to BMS and continues to be a trusted partner from early phase development through to commercial production.

BMS and SK Biotek anticipate that the transaction will close during the fourth quarter of 2017.

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