[THE INVESTOR] SK Chemicals has spun off its vaccine business to set up standalone company SK Bioscience, on July 2.
While the new spinoff focuses on the development of new vaccines, SK Chemicals hopes to reinforce its core business involving eco-friendly materials and chemical drugs.
The head of the vaccine unit, Ahn Jae-yong will serve as chief executive officer. “Innovative R&D technology and cutting-edge production facilities possessed by SK Bioscience are the basis of success. ... Based on this core competence, we will establish an identity as a specialized vaccine company and create a company that competes with the world by raising professionalism and efficiency,” he said.
Most recently, SK Bioscience’s SKY Cell Flu Quadrivalent, the first cell culture vaccine that covers four strains of influenza viruses, was prequalified by the World Health Organization. Prequalification is a crucial step for making the vaccines available in low-income countries.
In February, it signed an agreement to license cell culture technology to Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the French drugmaker, in a deal worth US$115 million if all milestones are achieved.
SK Bioscience said it plans to attract strategic investors for foreign market entry and continue to cement relationship with existing partners including the International Vaccine Institute and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)