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[Bio USA] Lotte's CDMO ambition gets full support from US plant

$48m expansion ongoing to transform into top ADC manufacturing facility in North America

June 7, 2023 - 13:33 By Park Han-na
Lotte Biologics USA General Manager Michael Hausladen poses at the firm's exhibition booth set up for the 2023 Bio International Convention, which kicked off in Boston on Tuesday. (Lotte Biologics)

BOSTON – Lotte Biologics’ drug substance manufacturing site in the US will put the utmost effort into making the Korean firm's goal of becoming a global top 10 contract development and manufacturing organization firm by 2030 attainable, the company’s US general manager said.

Lotte Biologics, founded in 2022, acquired a fully operational facility in East Syracuse, New York from 165-year-old US pharmaceutical firm Bristol Myers Squibb last year as a part of its market entry strategy into the CDMO sector, where its bigger crosstown rivals Samsung and SK have been racing to enter in search for their future growth engine.

After taking over the US site, the Korean contract manufacturer announced plans to invest $3 billion to establish three mega plants with a production capacity of 360,000 liters in Songdo, Incheon, by 2030.

“In terms of the composition of the entire CDMO business, I expect synergy creation between the mega plants that will produce large-scale drug substances in Korea and the Syracuse facility, which has an extensive track record of receiving more than 60 approvals from global regulatory bodies,” Michael Hausladen, general manager of Lotte Biologics USA told The Korea Herald, at the company’s exhibition booth set up for the 2030 Bio International Convention.

Hausladen said employees at the Syracuse plant fully understand and sympathize with Lotte’s vision, and are highly encouraged by the company's substantial growth potential. "We will actively contribute to realizing Lotte's goal to become a global top 10 CDMO company by 2030."

Lotte Biologics retained nearly all of the plant’s some 450-person workforce when it acquired the plant.

With a biomanufacturing capacity of 35,000 liters, the drug substance manufacturing site in Syracuse is currently undergoing a $48 million expansion to transform into one of North America’s top one-stop service facilities specialized in manufacturing antibody-drug conjugates.

“The expansion project is expected to be completed by end-2024 or the first quarter of 2025. It is expected to grow into one of the leading ADC one-stop service facilities in North America,” Hausladen said.

Hausladen believes that the Syracuse site’s proximity to Boston, the top biopharmaceutical cluster in North America, offers vast growth potential for Lotte Biologics. Boston is home to almost 1,000 biotech companies and many global pharma giants' headquarters.

“Based on this geographical advantage, Lotte Biologics plans to expand contract development services and contract manufacturing services for commercial drug products,” he said.

Before joining Lotte Biologics in November 2022, Hausladen spent much of his career with Bristol Myers Squibb, starting at the East Syracuse plant in 2001.

He has more than 25 years of experience in commercial and clinical manufacturing of cell therapies, biologics, pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.