SEOUL - Celltrion Inc.'s Chairman, Seo Jung-jin, confirmed plans on Monday for an additional merger with its chemical drug-producing affiliate Celltrion Pharm Inc., as part of the company's efforts to become a comprehensive pharmaceutical firm next year.
According to a news release by Yonhap News Agency, the announcement comes after Celltrion recently received approval from its shareholders to finalize a merger with Celltrion Healthcare Co., its sales and marketing affiliate. The merger with Celltrion Healthcare is set to be completed on December 28, with shares of the new entity available for trading on January 12 next year.
The latest move follows a three-year-old plan by Seo to integrate the group's three listed firms—Celltrion, Celltrion Healthcare, and Celltrion Pharm—in a bid to become a global drugmaker that focuses on biosimilars and new drugs by enhancing its cost competitiveness and diversifying its pipeline.
In financial projections, Celltrion expects its annual sales to surge by 50 percent to reach 3.5 trillion won (US$2.6 billion) next year and aims for 12 trillion won by 2030. The robust outlook is largely attributed to the planned mergers and the scheduled release of its new autoimmune disease treatment, Zymfentra, which received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday.
The company, which posted an annual revenue of 2.3 trillion won in 2022, plans to expand its biosimilar portfolio by launching five more biosimilar pipelines by 2025, targeting a total of 22 biosimilars by 2030.
Regarding Zymfentra, Seo noted that the company has initiated negotiations with U.S. buyers and aims to conclude talks within this year. The drug is expected to be priced similarly to its competitor Entyvio, which was developed by the Japanese pharmaceutical firm Takeda.
Seo also disclosed plans to take Celltrion Holdings, the parent company in which he holds a 98 percent stake, public. Upon the completion of the merger between Celltrion and Celltrion Healthcare, Celltrion Holdings will own a 21.5 percent stake in the combined entity, which in turn will own 54.8 percent of Celltrion Pharm.
Celltrion is currently the 14th-largest company on the main KOSPI bourse, with a market capitalization of approximately 22 trillion won.