Korean press claims Novo Nordisk on verge of buying SK Pharmteco VA plant

Novo Nordisk is in talks to acquire CDMO SK Pharmteco’ Petersburg, Virginia manufacturing facility for KRW 300 billion ($216 million), according to news reports.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

June 27, 2024

2 Min Read
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Both The Korea Herald and The Korea Economic Daily claim Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk is in final-stage talks with contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for the acquisition of the facility, citing “people close to the matter” and “industry sources,” respectively.

When contacted by BioProcess Insider, Novo Nordisk said it does not comment on rumors or speculation.

SK Pharmteco, meanwhile, would not comment on the story specifically, but chief communications officer Audrey Greenberg said the firm “continuously evaluates strategic opportunities to strengthen our position as a leading global CDMO,” and is “committed to expanding our capabilities in small molecule APIs, cell and gene therapies, and analytical services to provide our clients with a wider range of solutions and, ultimately, to improve patients' lives worldwide.”

SK Pharmteco, the CDMO wing of the multinational SK Group, acquired the Petersburg facility – located near Richmond – in 2018, adding 150 acres and 188 m3 of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing. The parent firm has since bulked out its global CDMO capacity and capabilities beyond small molecule production, buying French cell and gene therapy (CGT) Yposkesi in 2020.

In 2021, the firm invested what became $350 million in The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM), a King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based CDMO focused on CGT production. By 2023, SK took a controlling stake in the company.

For Novo Nordisk, the potential acquisition of this plant comes as it invests heavily in its own network. A $4.1 billion expansion in its Clayton, North Carolina facility was the latest in a string of capital expenditure projects to support its lucrative glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) portfolio: Ozempic and Wegovy (both semaglutide) pulled in sales of DK 95 billion ($13.7 billion) and DK 31 billion ($4.5 billion) in 2023.

Other capacity investments include $556 million in China, $6 billion in Denmark, and $2.1 billion in France.

If the SK Pharteco deal does go through, it will be another takeover of CDMO facilities by Novo Nordisk. A deal announced earlier this year is set to bring Novo Nordisk three fill/finish facilities from Catalent as part of a $16.5 billion planned acquisition by its parent firm Novo Holdings.

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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