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Samsung BioLogics goes beyond expectations

June 09,2017
Samsung BioLogics’ manufacturing facility in the Songdo International Business District of Incheon. [SAMSUNG BIOLOGICS]
In 2011, Samsung Group announced it would enter the business of contract manufacturing for biopharmaceuticals. The plan initially raised doubts because the field seemed distant and few people had wide-ranging knowledge of biological drugs.

However, Kim Tae-han, chief executive officer of Samsung BioLogics, supported the decision and pointed to two reasons: potential for Samsung BioLogics to quickly rise as a leading global player in biopharmaceutical production and the promising future of contract manufacturing on the back of rising worldwide demand for biological drugs.

Much of the confidence stemmed from Samsung’s accumulated experience and competitiveness in manufacturing. Kim had a strong belief that the expertise would give Samsung BioLogics a significant edge and enable it to become a global leader in biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing. With this vision in mind, Samsung Group pushed contract manufacturing as one of its new strategic businesses.

The company initially faced difficulty striking contracts because it lacked a proven track record in the field compared to competitors with long histories in contract manufacturing. To overcome this weakness, Samsung BioLogics consistently invited clients to visit its production site and elaborated on the company’s strengths, expertise and plans.

In July 2013, Samsung BioLogics struck its first manufacturing contract for a blockbuster drug, entering a 10-year agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb to produce an antibody cancer drug. Three months later, it signed a contract with Swiss drugmaker Roche to produce a number of commercial biological drugs.

With Samsung BioLogics’ global presence in biopharmaceuticals growing, the company built its second factory in 2013 with the capacity to produce 150,000 liters (39,600 gallons), five times that of its first plant. At the time, 90,000 liters was assumed to be the most efficient scale of a single production facility, but Samsung BioLogics was able to succeed in building the world’s single largest biological drug production facility. It was also able to cut construction time by 40 percent compared to the time it typically takes competitors to build similar-size facilities.

Samsung BioLogics broke ground on its third plant in December 2015 in response to growing market demand. Upon completion, the company will be the world’s largest manufacturer of biological drugs with a production capacity of 180,000 liters. Net manufacturing capacity at the three production facilities is estimated to reach 360,000 liters, making it the world’s largest biopharmaceutical contractor by capacity.

In addition to its sheer size, Samsung BioLogics has shown solid growth in profits and assets. It has also obtained quality and safety certifications from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency. The company’s biosimilar subsidiary, Samsung Bioepis, is making steady headway in the global market after it was approved by the FDA to sell generic versions of biologic drugs.

On April 21, Samsung BioLogics held a ceremony celebrating its sixth year, where CEO Kim applauded the company’s impressive accomplishments and expressed his commitment to making Samsung BioLogics a game changer beyond contract manufacturing by pushing toward customer-oriented innovation.


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