Celltrion's Seo says company will build next plant outside of South Korea

Celltrion plant
Biosimilar maker Celltrion will build a third manufacturing facility but put it outside of South Korea. The decision comes as tensions are rising between North Korea and the U.S.

Celltrion Chairman Seo Jeong-jin has confirmed that the South Korean drugmaker has decided to build its third plant outside of South Korea and expects to start construction by year-end.

In a presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference last week, Seo said the company would decide by June where to locate the plant, The Korea Herald reports. He said Celltrion intends to build a 360,000-liter-capacity facility. That is more than twice the 170,000-liter capacity it had earlier indicated.   

The biosimilar maker, whose partners include Big Pharma player Pfizer, had planned to put the third plant next to its other two at Incheon. But Seo told investors last fall, according to Reuters, that the company had changed those plans and would build it outside of South Korea in response to customer concerns about rising tensions with North Korea.

RELATED: FDA faults Celltrion plant that makes Pfizer's Remicade copy, Inflectra

One of Celltrion’s plants ran into FDA issues during an inspection last year, problems that the company called routine.