Samsung Biologics Aims to Create Super-wide Gap in CDMO Field

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Samsung Biologics plans to build a fifth plant in Songdo, Incheon, Korea by investing more than 1 trillion won (US$768 million). Previously, the company laid out a plan to build a second campus in October of last year and invest 7.5 trillion won (US$5.8 billion) in the construction of its fifth and sixth factories.

According to industry sources on March 16, Plant 5 will be built with an annual capacity of 180,000 liters. Currently, Plant 1 on Campus 1 has a capacity of 30,000 liters, Plant 2 154,000 liters, Plant 3 180,000 liters, and Plant 4 240,000 liters. It is the largest contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) in the world. Lonza, a traditional CDMO powerhouse, has an annual production capacity of 330,000 liters.

Industry insiders say that Samsung Biologics’ facility expansion reflects the company’s will to continue winning orders from global pharmaceutical companies by securing CDMO plants at a level that has a super-wide gap with its competitors. On March 2, Samsung Biologics struck a drug CDMO deal worth about 241 billion won (US$185 million) with Pfizer. With the deal with Pfizer, Samsung Biologics has business relationships with seven of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies. Currently, Samsung Biologics is engaging in business with big pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis, Roche, US Merck (MSD), Johnson & Johnson, BMS, and GSK.

“Plant 5’s capacity of 180,000 liters is based on antibody drugs,” an industry official said. “There is a possibility that production of next-generation drugs such as mRNA and antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) will be added to the capacity in the future.”

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