Hanmi Pharma betting big on its ‘smart plant’ in move into CDMO role

Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceutical is betting its $140 million smart drug manufacturing facility will help the company become a player in the CDMO market.

South Korea’s Hanmi Pharmaceutical is betting on big growth from its newly minted $140 million smart drug manufacturing facility as the company moves toward becoming a player in the CDMO market.

The facility, located in Paltan-myeon of Hwaseong in Gyeonggi Province, uses radio-frequency identification systems with electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The system captures big data on the drug production and distribution process from start to finish.

The company said the information when combined with analytic computing helps it maximize its manufacturing practices for higher quality and faster production.

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"The Smart Plant will change the production paradigm of pharmaceutical industry and give Hanmi a competitive edge to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution," Woo Jong-soo, Hanmi’s chief executive, said in a statement. "We will offer top performance in CDMO with the plant, which will give us another opportunity to leap forward." 

The plant is located on a 36,492-square-meter site where Hanmi has 576 employees. The company’s R&D center is also located at the site. Drugs like Amosartan, Rovelito and Rosuzet are currently being produced at the facility and distributed globally by companies such as Sanofi and Merck Sharp & Dohme.

Hanmi, which had been known for generics, announced two years ago it was taking a different path and would move toward branded medicine. It said it would commit 80% of its R&D toward that goal. The company said recently it will invest 18% of its sales, or about $160 million, in R&D this year.