SK takes controlling stake of CDMO IDT Biologika

Korean firm SK Bioscience has bought 60% of CDMO IDT Biologika for approximately KRW 339 billion ($244 million).

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

July 3, 2024

2 Min Read

As per the agreement, SK has gained control of IDT, along with its long-standing collaborations. Meanwhile, IDT’s parent firm, Germany-based Klocke Group, will retain a 40% stake as IDT’s second largest stakeholder, jointly operating the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

As a part of the firm’s continuous growth strategy announced in November last year, the acquisition will advance SK’s vaccine production capacity globally. Established in 1921, IDT ranks among the world’s top 10 vaccine producers, with a focus on cell and gene therapies (CGTs), and fill/finish biologics along with other sterile injectables.

“IDT Biologika has built up an excellent reputation in the field of viral vaccines in recent years and has a reliable business with top pharmaceutical companies as well as government agencies worldwide. SK bioscience is also pursuing this strategy and has extensive expertise in the development and production of vaccines, enabling us to jointly expand our market position,” said Ulrich Valley, CEO of IDT Biologika.

Over the years, the firm has added a few feathers to its hat, from winning a 10-year US gov pentavalent vaccine deal in 2019, to joining hands with AstraZeneca in 2021 to produce its COVID-19 vaccine. In 2022, IDT partnered with Exothera to produce viral vector-based vaccines. The firm has a long-standing partnership with Takeda to produce dengue vaccine.

Additionally, IDT has an established CGT business, which was cited by SK as one of its growth engines. In 2023, IDT became of German government’s trusted firm producing 80 million doses of vaccines per year for the next five years, advancing pandemic preparedness.

Moreover, with this transaction SK has gained cGMP compliant infrastructure, paving its way to global expansion. IDT’s expansive 1.36 million square-meter production facilities add to SK’s still nascent capacity. With over 1,600 employees, the CDMO has plants in Dessau-Rosslau and Magdeburg in Germany, and Rockville, Maryland in the US.

“The main purpose of this deal is to establish a new growth base and to further expand our core businesses into global markets, including developed countries. Since it represents a high business value for the investment by securing immediate revenue, a global production base, and efficient production facilities, we will continue to make an effort to enhance the company´s corporate value,” said Jaeyong Ahn, CEO of SK bioscience.

Of the KRW 339 billion, SK will pay approximately KRW 263 billion in cash, whereas the rest will be paid-in capital increase.

The firms did not respond when contacted by this publication.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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