Korea's Celltrion invests $453M into new manufacturing plant, research center
Less than a year after blueprinting a $514 million biologics plant in China, Celltrion is pouring another $453 million into building a new research center and manufacturing facility in its home city of Incheon, Korea.
Like Samsung Biologics, which is planning to construct a $2 billion “super plant,” Celltrion said it’s looking to “proactively respond to the rapidly increasing global biopharmaceutical demand, and focus our capabilities on more flexible and efficient biopharmaceutical research in the future.”
Earlier this year Celltrion founder Jung Jin Seo — the second-richest person in South Korea — had charted an ambitious vision for his company over the next decade. The goal is to launch one biosimilar product every year, reaching a total number of 18 products by 2030, and also expand into what he calls “bioinnovatives.”
The biosimilar maker will install eight 7,500-liter incubators at the new factory. Next to it will be a research center comprising R&D, process development and clinical practice, which is set to complete in July 2022. All told, the site will employ 3,000 new staffers.
“Many of our incubators will shorten the batch interval,” the company said, according to Korea Biomedical Review. “This will lead to an actual production volume and sales contribution comparable to higher than our existing production facilities.”
The facility is slated to come online in June 2024. Combined with the capacity from two existing plants, it will be able to produce 250,000 liters of biologics annually.
Perhaps best known in the US for its struggles in pushing copycat versions of Rituxan and Herceptin, Celltrion has also dabbled into new drug development, most recently testing an antibody treatment for Covid-19.