SK Bioscience is pursuing its growth strategy by expanding its vaccine production facility - dubbed the L House - located in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, the company said Wednesday.
SK Bioscience, an SK Chemicals spinoff specializing in vaccines, signed a memorandum of understanding with the governor of North Gyeongsang Province and the mayor of Andong to expand the country’s largest vaccine factory, it said.
|SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong (center), North Gyeongsang Province Governor Lee Cheol-woo (left) and Andong Mayor Kwon Young-se sign an agreement for expanding SK’s production facility in the southwestern city, on Wednesday.|
Through the MOU, the three parties will jointly invest about 100 billion won ($88.5 million) to expand the manufacturing facilities that produce cell culture flu vaccines in the second half of this year.
The expansion of the manufacturing facilities will be made in the 62,626 square meter area within the L House. When completed, it will allow SK Bioscience’s flu vaccine production volume to double while revitalizing the local economy, according to the company.
The L House has hired more than 90 percent of its employees locally since its completion in December 2012. The expansion is likely to create additional jobs, SK said.
SK Bioscience plans to strengthen its leading position in the domestic market through doubling vaccine production volume and enter the global market, the company said.
“SK Bioscience plans to continue to play a leading role in vaccine production as a key player in the nation's largest vaccine cluster, which is being fostered by North Gyeongsang Province and Andong,” it said.
SK Bioscience's only cell culture flu vaccine in Korea has surpassed cumulative sales volume of 14 million doses in Korea within three years of launch, the company said, adding that it is also preparing for international bidding through the World Health Organization's (WHO) Prequalification (PQ) program certification.
“Cooperation between central and local governments is necessary to foster a global vaccine company,” SK Bioscience CEO Ahn Jae-yong said. “We will reach a win-win scenario with the growth of the company and the local economy through L House.”
North Gyeongsang Province Governor Lee Cheol-woo said. “We will concentrate on attracting companies leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We will spare no efforts to help SK Bioscience raise its corporate value and grow into a leading global firm.”
Andong Mayor Kwon Young-se also said, “This MOU is a model case of public-private cooperation that aims to foster the local economy. Attracting vaccine-related companies, including SK, will become the core of Andong's future growth engine.”
L House, a world-class vaccine factory owned by SK Bioscience, can produce most of the vaccines can be developed in the country since it has infrastructure and production facilities for a variety of vaccines, including cell culture vaccines, bacterial culture vaccines, gene recombination vaccines, and protein conjugation vaccines.
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