The Irish and South Korean flags were raised ceremoniously last week in the grounds of a pharmaceuticals manufacturing campus in Swords, Co. Dublin, which has been acquired by SK biotek, a global life sciences company, the first Korean pharma-company to invest in Ireland.
SK biotek is a solely owned subsidiary of SK Group - a Top 100 Fortune 500 Global Company which employs 84,000 associates globally with annual revenue of €99.7 billion.
SK biotek announced the acquisition of the former Bristol-Myers Squibb API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) facility in Swords, Co. Dublin in June 2017 and completed the deal by year-end 2017. Over 360 staff employed on Swords Campus, dedicated to API Operations, transitioned to SK biotek employment from 1st January 2018.
The acquisition of Swords Campus represents the progression of a growth plan for SK biotek to become a top tier global contract pharmaceuticals manufacturing firm by 2020. SK biotek has confirmed that it plans to operate and develop Swords Campus as a stand-alone Contract Development Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), which will manufacture pharma products to specification for other pharmaceutical companies on a contract basis.
SK biotek has also confirmed that it intends to add marketing, research and development (R&D) talent, while investing to bring additional API manufacturing capacity to Swords Campus.
Speaking at the event, Minister of State Michael D’Arcy TD said, "This investment by SK biotek is a great vote of confidence for what Ireland has to offer, particularly our talented and flexible workforce. The pharma sector is one of our fastest growing sectors and makes a huge contribution to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports. The Government is keen to support dynamic pharma companies like SK biotek and I am pleased to hear of its ambitions for the future."
South Korean Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mr. Kang-Il Hu added, "SK biotek is a global leader in innovation in the pharmaceutical sector while Ireland too is a globally recognised centre of excellence in this field. One could say that Ireland and SK biotek are a perfect match."