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Samsung Biologics to increase production, develop different drug formats
2021-01-17
Samsung Biologics will focus on scaling up its production and research sites for the coming decades with an aim of venturing into new drug formats like vaccines and developing new medication beyond its core biosimilar business.  
 
The Songdo, Incheon-based drug maker will keep on expanding its offering, according to John Rim, CEO of Samsung Biologics, in a presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, which was held virtually on Wednesday.
 
“Rim noted that product diversification from monoclonal antibody and fusion protein manufacturing to encompass future modalities such as vaccines and cell-gene therapies are also being studied,” Samsung Biologics said in a statement.  
 
In line with the plan, the bio company will build a second plant in Songdo and more research and development facilities outside of Korea including in Boston, China and Europe.
 
Its research center in the San Francisco Bay Area that opened in October last year was its first overseas research center.
 
“Our next decade will be marked by increased business expansion and portfolio diversification," said Rim. "While continuing to achieve best-in-class contract development and manufacturing services and become a champion in the biosimilars business, we will also lay the groundwork for novel drug development, to ultimately become a full-service biopharmaceutical company."
 
The CEO also shared last year’s financial record, adding that it signed $1.7 billion in contract manufacturing contracts, a record high. The robust demand pushed all three existing plants to near-full capacity. Its contract development segment also saw growing orders, it said, although specific numbers were not released.
 
To better handle the growing demand, Biologics plans to accelerate the construction of a fourth plant in the Songdo complex, which broke ground last November.
 
Plant 4 is scheduled to be completed by 2023 after the biopharmaceutical unit pledged to funnel 1.74 trillion won ($1.6 billion) into the facility.
 
Aside from the plant expansion, the company also plans to build a new “bio complex” in Songdo that will house multiple manufacturing and development facilities.
 
“We will look beyond the next decade and evolve as a global top-tier biopharmaceutical company by securing future growth engines with continued investment and expansion in capacity, portfolio and global footprint,” he said during the presentation.
 
More than 400 companies are scheduled to take part in the annual event between Jan. 11 and Jan. 14, pitching their latest strategies and products to some 9,000 investors.
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