Lotte Outlines Plans to Become Major CDMO Player

13.02.2023 - Lotte Biologics, part of South Korean conglomerate Lotte, has detailed expansions plans for the business as it embarks on a path to become a top 10 CDMO by 2030.

"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,” said Lotte Biologics CEO Richard Won-jik Lee.

The purchase of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s biologics manufacturing site in Syracuse, New York, for $160 million, which was finalized on Jan. 1, was the first step in Lotte Biologics’ ambitions since officially forming on Jun. 7, 2022.

Speaking on Jan. 10 at the  2023 JPMorgan Healthcare Conference’s Asia-Pacific track, Lee outlined plans to develop the Syracuse plant into a North American hub and to build three “mega plants” in South Korea.

 At Syracuse, Lotte Biologics is considering expansion plans that include contract manufacturing services for antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), clinical drug substance incubation and drug product fill & finish facilities.

The Seoul-based group said it wants to transform the plant into one that can provide a one-stop platform that offers everything from antibody drug production to chemical drug conjugation as part of efforts to become North America’s premier ADC contract manufacturing center.

Lotte Biologics is also looking to grow further in North America by establishing contract development facilities in core bio-clusters such as Boston’s Kendall Square and San Francisco in order, it said, to enhance customer ease of access and boost order competitiveness.

Back home in South Korea, the company intends to invest $3 billion by 2030 to build three mega plants with a total capacity of 360,000 liters of antibody drugs. Each plant will be capable of producing 120,000 liters, with additional expansion plans calling for a small-scale incubator for clinical drug substance production along with a commercial drug product manufacturing facility.

Construction of the first plant will start in the second half of 2023. Completion is scheduled for the second half of 2025, with GMP approval targeted for the second half of 2026 and commercial production in 2027. Lotte aims to have all three plants fully operational by 2034.

The site (at an undisclosed location) will also host the Lotte Bio Campus, alongside a Bio-Venture initiative where startups and ventures that are working to discover and develop new drugs can make use of Lotte’s facilities.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist