Leading CDMO Samsung Biologics On Track for Completion of $2 Billion Plant

Updated on January 5, 2022

Contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) must expand in order to keep up with the massive demand that has been placed on the medical industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread and distribution of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines have helped keep the virus in check after the initial lockdowns and market shutdowns. But to keep the world open and running, the production of these vaccines has had to escalate to a faster pace. 

How can pharmaceutical companies maintain the same quality with each vaccine dose if they must produce them at a much faster rate? That’s where CDMOs like Samsung Biologics come in. These companies offer their services to the pharmaceutical companies, which grant researchers the time to continue developing vaccines and therapies, while Samsung Biologics takes the lead in manufacturing more doses of treatments and vaccines. The ultimate goal is to make the highest quality medication and vaccines available to every single person throughout the world. 

Samsung Biologics currently operates one filling line and has a second filling line prepared to be operational by 2022. These filling lines use aseptic filling and lyophilization capabilities to assist drug manufacturing partners in fulfilling the high demand for medication and vaccines needed. The GMP manufacturing services provided by Samsung Biologics have built an impressive track record in a short period of time from multiple international regulatory bodies. 

Furthermore, Samsung Biologics is currently building its fourth  biomanufacturing facility at the Incheon Free Economic Zone that is set to be the largest in the world. Senior Vice President James Choi described the process, saying, “In automating our facilities, we utilize a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) at the beginning of each batch production to ensure that the materials are dispensed correctly and are accurately traced through the entire batch process, reducing the risk of operator error, and improving data accuracy with the automated weighing and dispensing process.” 

Speeding the Completion of Plant 4

That biomanufacturing facility currently in construction by Samsung Biologics was originally set to be completed by the end of 2023, but the company projects that it will be able to speed up the completion to earlier in that year instead to meet and exceed the expectations of Samsung Biologics’ many partners.

Choi told Bloomberg, “We think the entire plant will be fully ready by the middle of 2023.” It will meet many needs, including increasing production capacity by about 70 percent. Samsung Biologics’ partner, Moderna, had contracted the CDMO to assist in the fill-finish and other parts of manufacturing the mRNA vaccine that has been met with much success throughout the pandemic. 

Samsung Biologics had added even more capacity when it came to the mRNA vaccine. With the new addition of mRNA DS manufacturing to the Songdo facility expected to be complete by the first half of 2022, this will give the CDMO the ability to offer pharmaceutical companies end-to-end mRNA vaccine manufacturing services from bulk drug substance to aseptic fill/finish including labeling and packaging, along with cold chain storage. 

“This vaccine is paramount to people around the world in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and we truly appreciate our client Moderna for entrusting and choosing to partner with Samsung Biologics for the fill and finish of this important vaccine,” said John Rim, CEO of Samsung Biologics. “Due to the high level of urgency in supplying the vaccine to the global population, we have set immediate action plans and schedules to make mRNA-1273 available for commercial distribution in the early second half of 2021.”

Other Plans to Expand Internationally

Samsung Biologics has positioned itself as a global CDMO with its many partners and plans for new locations. They invested in a new research and development facility strategically located on the west coast of the U.S. in San Francisco, giving them close access to many of their partners and the international hub of biopharmaceutical innovation in the Bay Area. The company is also looking  to expand into other U.S. cities, including Boston, as well as in Europe.

Many global pharmaceutical companies have already recognized and turned to Samsung Biologics as a high-quality CDMO that meets and exceeds expectations time and time again. Moderna, GSK, and Eli Lilly have all partnered with Samsung Biologics in some way to manufacture and distribute the highest quality biomedicines.

  • Moderna: Samsung announced an agreement with vaccine producer Moderna to provide large-scale, commercial fill-finish manufacturing for mRNA-1273, the COVID-19 vaccine. Aseptic fill-finish, labeling, and packaging services will be given to millions of Moderna doses. 
  • GSK: GlaxoSmithKline signed a contract with Samsung Biologics as well. The Korean company agreed to provide large-scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing for the company’s innovative biopharmaceutical therapies. It is expected to expand in the future to include more therapies and products. 
  • Eli Lilly: Samsung Biologics entered into an agreement with Eli Lilly to provide long-term manufacturing in order to make antibody treatments more accessible to the world. 
  • GreenLight Biosciences: In November, Samsung Biologics announced a partnership with GreenLight Biosciences to help them manufacture the company’s messenger RNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19. 
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