SK Inc. Enters into Exclusive Financing Deal with the Center for Breakthrough Medicines
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., Nov. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) announced today that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with SK Inc., significantly accelerating CBM’s mission to create the world’s largest end-to-end cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). Established in 2019, CBM offers fully integrated pre-clinical through commercial manufacturing capabilities including process development, plasmid DNA, and viral vector manufacturing, cell banking, cell processing, and a full suite of testing and analytic capabilities.
The financing is expected close in December 2021.
“We are thrilled by the opportunity to join forces with SK Inc., the perfect strategic partner to enable CBM’s core mission of expediting the path to approval for cell and gene therapies for patients in need,” said Audrey Greenberg, Co-Founder, Center for Breakthrough Medicines.
SK Inc. is a publicly-traded (KRX: 034730) holding company based in Seoul, South Korea and primarily invests in energy, chemicals, semiconductors, logistics, services and biopharma sectors, with significant investments in cell and gene therapy.
“We are thrilled by the opportunity to join forces with SK Inc., the perfect strategic partner to enable CBM’s core mission of expediting the path to approval for cell and gene therapies for patients in need,” said Audrey Greenberg, Co-Founder, Center for Breakthrough Medicines. “SK’s mission of delivering value and happiness for all, culture of safety and quality, emphasis on ESG values, and global reach creates an ideal match for CBM. SK has a strong biopharma portfolio, including considerable investments in cell & gene therapy companies creating enormous strategic value for CBM. The SK CBM partnership will bring capacity to a starved CGT marketplace and expedite the delivery of new therapies to patients who need them now.”
In addition to CDMO services, CBM has been investing significantly in proprietary cell and gene manufacturing technology which allows clients to leverage the Company’s cutting-edge platforms to accelerate speed to market and lower cost. This, combined with the scale of capacity and integrated single-site supply chain, and the deep expertise of the team, positions CBM as the ideal CDMO partner for company’s looking for a strategic development and manufacturing partner.
CBM will use the net proceeds of this financing to support operations, research, lab and GMP suite build out, strategic joint ventures, sponsored research agreements, technology platforms, automation and infrastructure.
CBM will occupy nearly 700,000 square feet at The Discovery Labs — located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Cellicon Valley in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
“The capital provided by SK will enable us to fully execute on our mission of saving lives by accelerating the development and manufacturing of advanced therapies.” said Joerg Ahlgrimm, President and CEO, Center for Breakthrough Medicines. “We are building an unprecedented amount of desperately needed capacity. CBM will be hiring 2,000 new team members in the next 4 years, providing extraordinary growth opportunities for the industry’s talented scientists who share our mission to save lives.”
“CBM’s has assembled a world class team of leaders which was a core element in our desire to invest in the company,” said Mr. Dong Hoon Lee, Executive Vice President of SK Inc., “In addition to their industry-leading management team, CBM is an ideal investment because of its geographic location in Philadelphia – the birthplace of the cell & gene therapy industry, established cell and gene therapy manufacturing capabilities and the Company’s opportunity to address significant capacity constraints in the cell and gene therapy manufacturing space.” He also adds “With the successful investment in CBM, SK have secured a crucial foundation for realizing the ‘SK CMO Financial Story’ which envisions completing the chemical·biologic drug value chain across the U.S., Europe and Asia by 2025.”The CBM team is led by Joerg Ahlgrimm, President & CEO, who held positions of senior leadership at Lonza AG, where he was responsible for 37 sites on four continents and over 8,000 employees, and at Baxter Healthcare, BioScience Division/Baxalta Inc. CBM’s C-suite is rounded out with a diverse group of leaders with substantial experience in global pharma, biotech and the CDMO industry.
About The Center for Breakthrough Medicines
The Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) is a fully integrated, end-to-end advanced therapy CDMO partner providing a full spectrum of services, all in one location, to companies working on pre-clinical to commercial phase therapies. This horizontal integration enables the utmost quality and accelerates speed to market with one single-source, end-to-end solution.
About SK Inc.
SK Inc. is an investment holding company for SK group, a leading conglomerate in Seoul, South Korea with major operating companies in energy, semiconductors, telecommunications and life sciences. SK Inc. enhances its portfolio values by developing long-term strategies with globally competitive affiliates in energy and chemicals, ICT, semiconductor and materials, logistics and services, and bio and pharmaceuticals.
John F. Kouten, DeFazio Communications
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