DCAT Week ’18: SK biotek Outlines Integration of Former BMS API Manufacturing FacilityBy
Nitin Parekh, PhD
Nitin Parekh, PhD, Vice President and Executive Director, Strategy & Business of SK biotek, wholly owned subsidiary of SK Holdings, outlined the company’s integration of a former active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing site of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) at the DCAT Week ’18 Member Company Announcement Forum, which was held Monday, March 19, 2018 in New York.
While the agreement to purchase the site was made in June 2017, transfer of ownership to SK officially took place on January 1, 2018 when SK biotek assumed ownership of the former BMS API manufacturing facility in Swords, Ireland (outside of Dublin). The transaction included the transfer of approximately 350 BMS employees to SK. The addition of the 21-acre site adds 82 cubic meters of reactor capacity. The acquisition provides SK with additional manufacturing capacity as well as a European footprint.
Parekh outlined the capabilities gained with the facility. The facility has six separate manufacturing plants (two large-scale and four small-scale plants), including specialized technologies, such as high-potency manufacturing, a dedicated hydrogenation facility, and production-scale column chromatography. Reactor volumes in the large-scale plants range from 4 to 7 cubic meters, and volumes in the small-scale plants range from 0.3 to 4 cubic meters of conventional space as well as 0.06 to 1.6 cubic meters for high-potency APIs. These capabilities complement SK’s existing manufacturing capacity at its existing sites in Daejeon and Sejong, Korea. The Swords facility, now known as SK biotek Ireland, was used as BMS’s launch site for new API products with over 10 successful new product launches in the last 15 years. Parekh added that the team at the site brings expertise in technology transfer, process optimization and new product launch. In addition, there is an R&D group for process and analytical development.
SK biotek has had a business relationship with Swords for many years and had become familiar with the quality of the site and of the individuals working there, added Parekh. He noted that the due-diligence process further revealed opportunities to expand the Swords campus to use the expertise of the workforce as well as doing business in Ireland and using the site as a hub for mainland Europe.