Meet Samsung Biologics, A CDMO That’s Changing the World

Contract manufacturing organizations work closely with biotech firms and pharmaceutical companies of all kinds, helping expand their production and manufacturing abilities when it comes to supplying high quality biomedicines. They also offer services that include biosafety testing, fill/finish, labeling & packaging, and more.

CDMOs and their clients work in close partnership for every project, and the result is that both companies— and especially, patients around the world— benefit.

While there are hundreds of CDMOs scattered all over the globe, there are some that have risen to the top due to their work battling the pandemic and beyond. One of the leading names in this group is Samsung Biologics, who have become one of the most prominent companies in biopharmaceuticals.

Introduction to Samsung Biologics

Since its founding in 2011, Samsung Biologics has experienced astounding growth. Specifically in 2020, they increased their revenue by +66% and achieved their highest sales mark in history during the 4th quarter of that year. By 2021’s first quarter, they were already signaling another year of growth with a strong Q1 earnings.

For their part, Samsung Biologics is investing the funds from that growth into their future, securing a series of exciting projects that will give them even more capabilities as the largest contract manufacturing organization while landing huge partnerships with some of the biggest names in biopharmaceuticals.

High-Profile Partnerships Pave the Way for the Future

In addition to the string of contracts with top-tier companies such as Lilly, GSK, and AZ in 2020, Samsung Biologics recently announced that they’ll be working in a partnership with Moderna, providing fill-finish services to help them ramp up their vaccine production for mRNA-1273 and continue producing hundreds of millions of vaccines for distribution around the world. Fill-finish services involve helping companies such as Moderna get their vaccines to market, helping fill containers, package products, and make sure they’re shipped out to where they’re needed most in a timely manner.

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A New mRNA Vaccine Manufacturing Site

In other vaccine-related news, Samsung Biologics also announced that they’ll be adding mRNA vaccine drug substance manufacturing capabilities to one of their existing facilities, allowing them to provide fully integrated vaccine production for a range of clients— including the potential to serve those developing COVID-19 vaccines on a larger scale.

A Massive Construction Project Currently Underway

One of the most significant announcements from Samsung Biologics came when they made public their development of a fourth biomanufacturing plant, which will become the largest capacity single-site manufacturing plant in the world upon completion. The facility will also include state-of-the-art innovation and technology to enhance and improve processes. The company has already introduced some of this technology in its current facilities to leverage digitalization to optimize the client experience.

“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 manual entry is minimized to reduce the risk of operator errors,” said James Choi, SVP, Chief Information, and Marketing Officer, and Head of Investor Relations. “Such automation not only improves data integrity, but also enables the collection of data for broader analysis and optimization of our manufacturing processes.”

What Comes Next for This Contract Manufacturing Organization?

At a recent event, Samsung Biologics CEO John Rim laid out what he sees as the future path for the company as it grows its position as the leading CDMO.

“We will look beyond the next decade,” Rim said, “and evolve as the global top-tier biopharmaceutical company by securing future growth engines with continued investment and expansion in capacity, portfolio, and global footprint. With a steadfast vision and unrelenting drive to achieve better life for all, we embrace responsibility, expertise, and pride in our work, and will continue on our noble mission to enable improved accessibility of biomedicines and consequently the quality of life for people around the globe.”

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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