Bristol-Myers Squibb to Sell Manufacturing Facility in Ireland to CDMO SK Biotek

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PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management-07-05-2017, Volume 12, Issue 7

By purchasing the BMS Sword, Ireland facility, SK Biotek will be the first South Korean company to invest in pharmaceutical manufacturing in Ireland.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company has signed a definitive purchase agreement to sell its 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 announced in a June 16, 2017 press release. 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 Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Pfizer’s Eliquis. SK Biotek will operate the plant as a stand-alone contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) and intends to add marketing and R&D talent and invest in upgrades to bring additional capacity to the site. Bristol-Myers Squibb 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,” said Junku Park, PhD, CEO of SK Biotek. “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.”

“Today’s agreement is an important step in the ongoing evolution of our manufacturing network to support the company’s innovative portfolio,” said Lou Schmukler, president, Global Product Development & Supply, Bristol-Myers Squibb, in the release. “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 Bristol-Myers Squibb have an established relationship in pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply. SK Biotek has been a supplier to Bristol-Myers Squibb for 10 years and a key producer of commercial API starting materials and chemical intermediates. Closing of the transaction is subject to SK Biotek’s receipt of certain environmental permits in addition to other customary closing conditions. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

Sources: SK Biotek and Bristol-Myers Squibb