CDMO Samsung Biologics Expands Commercial Antibody Cancer Drug Partnership With Bristol Myers Squibb

Contract development and manufacturing organization Samsung Biologics and Bristol Myers Squibb have unveiled an expanded strategic agreement concerning the large-scale manufacturing of a commercial antibody cancer drug substance. This manufacturing will take place at the CDMO’s recently completed Plant 4 facility in Songdo, South Korea. The deal is worth roughly 321.26 billion South Korean won (about $242 million).

“Our relationship with Bristol Myers Squibb spans over a decade, and we are proud and excited to help bring important medicines to patients around the world,” said John Rim, President and CEO of Samsung Biologics, in a statement. “This collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb underscores our commitment to expediting the delivery and ensuring the continuous supply of client pipelines, enabled by our commitment to manufacturing quality, innovation, and capacity.”

How It Began

Samsung Biologics and Bristol Myers Squibb have a longstanding partnership, with previous agreements on manufacturing commercial antibody cancer drugs. This new arrangement extends their collaboration, underlining a mutual trust and shared objectives in delivering cancer therapies to the global market.

The partnership began with an initial 10-year agreement In July 2013. This contract focused on the production of a single commercial antibody cancer drug substance​.

In April 2014, the scope of their existing manufacturing agreement increased. Under the expanded agreement, the CDMO would make commercial drug substances and drug products for several Bristol Myers Squibb biologic medicines at its Songdo, South Korea, headquarters​.

That 2014 deal utilized Samsung Biologics’ Plant 2 facility. The company has since built two additional plants, and construction on Plant 5 is underway.

Strategic CDMO Growth

This year has been marked by significant strategic developments for Samsung Biologics. The company implemented a three-dimensional growth strategy focused on expanding capacity, extending geographic reach, and diversifying its service portfolio. These developments are part of a broader vision to solidify its position in the fast-growing CDMO and biopharmaceuticals sector.

One of the key focal points of Samsung Biologics’ growth strategy is the expansion of manufacturing capacity. The completion of Plant 4 in June marked a significant step toward bolstering its industry-leading capacity. The plant is the largest of its kind and added 240,000 liters of capacity to bring Samsung Biologics’ total to 604,000 liters.

The company also recently acquired land for a second Bio Campus and has already broken ground on the construction of Plant 5 there. It’s expected to commence operations by April 2025. Samsung Biologics has said that it plans to invest 7.5 trillion won in Bio Campus II, which, when all is said and done, will include an Open Innovation Center for biotech incubation and four plants with a total capacity of 720,000 liters.

“Over a decade ago, we committed to bringing innovative solutions to our partners and we’ve successfully delivered on that commitment with each new plant. Now, building on this foundation, Plant 5 will leverage our unparalleled experience and expertise to deliver long-term success for our clients,” said Rim.

“By expediting our capacity expansion and providing fully integrated services, we hope to close the gap between the demand and supply of life-saving biomedicines.”

Samsung Biologics has funded this expansion with continued financial growth. In its most recent earnings report, the company announced consolidated revenue with its Samsung Bioepis biosimilars firm of 866.2 billion won, marking a 33% increase from 651.4 billion won in Q2 2022. The operating profit soared by 49.4% to 253.4 billion won, while the net profit stood at 184.9 billion won, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of 362.1 billion won. On a stand-alone basis, the revenue was 637.2 billion won, and the operating profit, registering a 47.8% growth, reached 254.1 billion won compared to the same quarter last year.

Furthermore, Samsung Biologics has inked large-scale manufacturing contracts with pharmaceutical giants like Roche, Pfizer, and Novartis, pushing the sales backlog over 2 trillion won as of July, surpassing the previous year’s cumulative sales backlog.

The CDMO also recently emphasized its sustainability commitments despite this rapid growth, publishing its third annual environmental, social, and governance report. The report outlined membership in several sustainability initiatives, strides toward reducing its carbon footprint with a goal of net-zero emissions, and transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

“Our consistent delivery of quality service and operational excellence, coupled with our expanded strategic partnerships with top global pharmaceutical companies, have been pivotal in driving stable revenue growth,” said Rim in a statement on the earnings release.

“With the full completion of Bio Campus I offering 604,000 liters of capacity and our Bio Campus II expansion with Plant 5 on track to come on line by April 2025, we are well positioned to meet the growing demands of the market.”