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  • Northside East

South Korean company gets a warm welcome in Swords

Thursday, 1st February, 2018 8:00am
South Korean company gets  a warm welcome in Swords

Pictured at the event in Swords were Joanne Kelleher, SK biotek Ireland, with Dr Junku Park, chief executive of SK biotek. PHOTO: JASON CLARKE

South Korean company gets  a warm welcome in Swords

Pictured at the event in Swords were Joanne Kelleher, SK biotek Ireland, with Dr Junku Park, chief executive of SK biotek. PHOTO: JASON CLARKE

A CEREMONY was held in Swords last week to mark the first South Korean pharma-company to invest in Ireland.

SK biotek announced the acquisition of the former Bristol-Myers Squibb API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) facility in Swords in June 2017 and completed the deal by year-end 2017.

Over 360 staff employed on Swords Campus, dedicated to API Operations, transitioned to SK biotek employment from January 1, 2018.

The acquisition of Swords Campus represents the progression of a growth plan for SK biotek to become a top tier global contract pharmaceuticals manufacturing firm by 2020.

SK biotek has confirmed that it plans to operate and develop Swords Campus as a stand-alone Contract Development Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO), which will manufacture pharma products to specification for other pharmaceutical companies on a contract basis. 

The company also confirmed that it intends to add marketing, research and development (R&D) talent, while investing to bring 

additional API manufacturing capacity to Swords 


On the day, the Irish and South Korean flags were ceremoniously raised in the grounds of the campus.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Junku Park PhD, chief executive of SK biotek, said: “With Ireland being at the forefront of global pharmaceutical manufacturing excellence, Swords Campus brings with it a strong legacy and rich history - which spans 50+ years of excellence in pharma production.

“The stellar reputation of Swords Campus both in manufacturing and regulatory affairs, and most importantly in its talented workforce who are joining us on the journey, will greatly help to drive our near-term ambition to become a leading global CDMO.

“We plan to enhance technological capability and manufacturing capacity and build long-term partnerships with existing and new customers and look forward to growing our presence 

in Swords in the coming 


Dr Park said the company’s early experience of operating in Ireland in working through the acquisition has been very positive.

“Ireland has a welcoming business environment and a talented workforce,” he said.  

“The workplace and cultural engagement has been highly positive and IDA Ireland’s assistance with guidance, introductions and local knowledge has also been very encouraging and much appreciated.

“The establishment of our first manufacturing campus outside of South Korea offers great opportunity for growth which will in turn create additional and exciting new opportunities for our staff in Swords.”

Minister of State Michael D’Arcy said the investment is a great vote of confidence for what Ireland has to offer, particularly our talented and flexible workforce. 

“The pharma sector is one of our fastest growing sectors and makes a huge contribution to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports,” said Minister D’Arcy.  

“The Government is keen to support dynamic pharma companies like SK biotek and I am pleased to hear of its ambitions for the future.”


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