Ambitious Lotte moving into ADCs at ex-BMS plant

Work is underway to convert an animal health lab at a former BMS site into a full-service ADC suite, says Korean CDMO Lotte Biologics.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

October 27, 2023

2 Min Read
Ambitious Lotte moving into ADCs at ex-BMS plant

Work is underway to convert an animal health lab at the former BMS site in New York into a full-service antibody drug conjugate (ADC) suite, says Korean CDMO Lotte Biologics.

One of the major South Korean conglomerates, Lotte Group dived into the drug production space in 2022 by establishing a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) division Lotte Biologics.

Lotte’s arrival on the scene included the purchase of a Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMS) facility in East Syracuse. The plant, supported by bioprocess vendor MilliporeSigma through a deal linked in July 2022, offers 40,000 L of biomanufacturing capacity (through eight 5,000 L tanks).


Now the firm will add ADC services at the facility by Q4 2024, the CDMO told BioProcess Insider at the CPHI Barcelona event this week, to feed the large number of ADC programs in the clinic.

Specifically, the firm says it has committed $80 million to establish the ADC facility, converting a former BMS animal health laboratory and adding 200 L and 500 L single-use bioreactors to enable the production of clinical and commercial ADC products.

ADCs combine the precise targeting characteristic of a monoclonal antibody (mAb) with the high potency of a small molecule warhead using conjugation technology. Lotte offers the development and manufacturing of the antibody but will look for the customer to lead on the linker and payload.

However, in partnership with Kanaph Therapeutics, it is developing an in-house platform aimed to improve conjugation yield and stability, with the ability to accommodate multiple linkers and payloads.

Growth plans

The addition of ADC services is part of a major growth strategy for the CDMO, which aims to compete with fellow-Korean rival Samsung Biologics both on the speed and scale of its operations.

In Syracuse, plans are afoot to add drug product capabilities, while additional clinical manufacturing capacity via multiple 2,000 L single-use is set to be installed.

Meanwhile, earlier this year the company promised $3 billion over the next seven years to construct three ‘mega’ plants in Korea. The first stage came earlier this month when Lotte signed a land purchase agreement with the Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZ) in Songdo.

According to the firm, the first plant will be GMP ready by the end of 2026, the second by the end of 2028, and the third by the end of 2030. In total, the Songdo site will boast up to 360,000 L.

In comparison, Samsung Biologics – formed in 2011 – has four operational plants in Songdo with roughly 600,000 L of bioreactor capacity. The firm also has a fifth site under construction.

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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