Lotte Biologics has big ambitions: new CDMO industry entrant unveils growth strategy

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages.PM Images
© GettyImages.PM Images

Related tags LOTTE Biologics Antibody drug conjugates Drug substances

The South Korean player plans to expand its recently acquired US facility, to provide contract manufacturing services for Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADC), and to add drug product fill & finish facilities to establish a foothold in the North American CDMO market.

Richard Won-jik Lee, CEO of the newly formed Lotte Biologics, announced the company’s full-fledged entry into the biopharma market as a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) at the 2023 JPMorgan Healthcare Conference’s Asia-Pacific track.

"With a dual-track growth strategy that includes both acquisition and new construction, Lotte plans to quickly establish itself as a key player in the CDMO market and further strengthen its business competitiveness."

At the outset of 2023, the Korean company, a subsidiary of retail and chemical group, Lotte Corporation, announced the completion of the acquisition​ of a plant in Syracuse from US pharma giant, Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS).

It now intends to develop that US facility, to make it its North American hub, transforming the Syracuse site into a one-stop shop facility that provides a range of services from ADC contract manufacturing to clinical drug substance incubation and drug product (DP) facilities.

In addition to the Syracuse site, the company is looking at expanding its foothold in North America by establishing contract development (CDO) facilities in core bio-clusters such as Boston’s Kendall Square and San Francisco to enhance customer ease-of-access and boost order competitiveness.

A new 360,000-liter mega plant in Korea

On the domestic front, Lotte said it is planning to invest a total of US$3bn by 2030 to construct three mega plants with a total production capacity of 360,000 liters of antibody drugs in Korea. Each plant will be capable of producing 120,000 liters of antibody drugs, with additional expansion plans calling for a small-scale incubator for clinical drug substance production as well as a commercial drug product production facility.

Construction of the first mega plant will begin in the second half of 2023, with completion scheduled for the second half of 2025, GMP approval for the second half of 2026, and commercial production for 2027. Lotte anticipates having all three mega facilities fully operational by 2034.

In addition, as part of its efforts to contribute to the creation of a biopharma ecosystem within Korea and the discovery of new therapeutics, the mega plant site will host the Lotte Bio Campus, alongside a Bio-Venture Initiative where startups and ventures in the process of discovering and developing new drugs can make use of Lotte's facilities.

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