Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Biopharmaceutical Production Boost: Lotte Biologics and Merck KGaA Forge Strategic Partnership

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South Korean CDMO Lotte Biologics and Merck KGaA have entered into a strategic partnership aimed at expanding biopharmaceutical production and process development. The collaboration, announced on May 31, will focus on ensuring the supply of essential raw materials, establishing a stable supply chain, and creating a support system for Lotte’s “Bio Venture Initiative” at the Songdo Bio campus in South Korea.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lotte Biologics and Merck KGaA will work together to:

  • Ensure Raw Material Supplies: The partnership aims to secure essential raw materials necessary for biopharmaceutical production, which is crucial for maintaining consistent quality and meeting production timelines.
  • Establish a Stable Supply Chain: By creating a robust supply chain, the collaboration seeks to minimize disruptions and ensure the continuous availability of critical materials.
  • Support the Bio Venture Initiative: The initiative, set up by Lotte, aims to facilitate collaboration among biopharma companies by providing joint lab space and integrating expertise from companies of various sizes to support emerging biopharma ventures.

This partnership is not the first collaboration between Lotte Biologics and Merck KGaA. In 2022, Lotte signed a memorandum of understanding with Merck KGaA’s life science business, MilliporeSigma, focused on the expansion and staff training at the former Bristol Myers Squibb production facility in East Syracuse, New York. Earlier that year, Lotte had acquired the site for $160 million, marking a significant investment in expanding its biopharmaceutical production capabilities.

Lotte Biologics and Merck KGaA Partnership to Propel South Korea’s Biopharmaceutical Leadership

“This collaboration with Merck is significant as it represents a win-win strategy that will help South Korea become a global leader in biopharmaceuticals beyond Songdo and Daejeon,” said Lee Won-jik, Lotte Biologics’ chief executive. “We will strive to make Lotte Biologics a key player in the global CDMO market through this active partnership with Merck.”

In late March, MilliporeSigma announced it would invest $326 million into a new manufacturing center in Daejeon, which is expected to create 300 new jobs by the end of 2028. This investment is the largest by MilliporeSigma in the Asia-Pacific region and will span process development, clinical research, and commercial biological manufacturing for vaccines, cell and gene therapies, and monoclonal antibodies.

Furthermore, in May 2023, Merck KGaA unveiled plans to establish a Korean bioprocessing plant. This facility will support commercial production for customers in the region, further solidifying Merck KGaA’s commitment to expanding its presence in the Asia-Pacific biopharma market.

Biopharmaceutical Production

Lotte and Merck KGaA Partner to Enhance Biopharmaceutical Production and Foster Innovation

The “Bio Venture Initiative” announced by Lotte in August 2023 aims to support biopharma startups by providing a collaborative environment that includes joint lab space and shared expertise. This initiative is designed to foster innovation and streamline the development process for new biopharmaceutical products.

By integrating resources and expertise, Lotte and Merck KGaA aim to drive advancements in biopharmaceutical production and process development. This partnership is poised to enhance the capabilities of both companies, ensuring they can meet the growing demand for biopharmaceutical products globally.

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The collaboration between Lotte Biologics and Merck KGaA represents a significant step forward in the biopharmaceutical industry. By combining their strengths, the two companies are well-positioned to address the challenges of biopharmaceutical production, improve efficiency, and support the development of new therapies. This partnership not only benefits the companies involved but also contributes to the broader goal of advancing global health and biopharmaceutical innovation.


Resource: Lotte Biologics, May 31, 2024

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