Samsung Biologics bags another Big Pharma with $185m Pfizer deal

Pfizer becomes the seventh top 10 pharma firm to ink a deal with Korean third-party manufacturer Samsung Biologics.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

March 3, 2023

2 Min Read
Samsung Biologics bags another Big Pharma with $185m Pfizer deal
Image: DepositPhotos/kalinovsky

Pfizer becomes the seventh top 10 pharma firm to ink a deal with Korean CDMO Samsung Biologics.

According to a regulatory filing, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Samsung Biologics will supply biologics services for pharma giant Pfizer. The contract is worth KRW 241 billion ($185 million) and is valid from February 2023 until the end of 2029.

Further details have not been disclosed, but the contract is not an anomaly for the Korean CDMO, which has been inking manufacturing deals with Big Pharma firms ever since its inception in 2011.


Image: DepositPhotos/kalinovsky

With Pfizer on board, the company can now name seven of the top 10 pharma firms on its books:

Through its joint venture with Biogen Idec to form Samsung Bioepis (now fully owned by Samsung Biologics), the CDMO has been producing biosimilars marketed in some regions by Merck & Co.

In 2013, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) forged a strategic deal with Samsung Biologics – expanded in 2014 and again in 2019 – to produce commercial antibody drug substances.

Similarly, Roche inked a long-term strategic manufacturing agreement in 2013, again expanded in 2019.

GlaxoSmithKline signed an eight-year agreement in May 2020 worth $231 million to secure capacity for several of its products including lupus treatment Benlysta (belimumab). The UK-based pharma firm has since expanded its collaboration through a $296 million 10-year deal.

An AstraZeneca contract first announced in September 2020 was expanded in May 2021 to be worth $380 million.

And last June, the CDMO signed an $81 million letter with the fifth-largest pharma firm, Novartis, though – like the Pfizer deal – product details have not been revealed.

Beyond the top 10 pharma firms, Samsung Biologics has announced a long list of other customers, including Eli Lilly, Moderna, CytoDyn, and UCB.

Concurrent to the addition of large pharma clients, Samsung Biologics has been building up its drug substance and drug product capabilities. The firm’s first three facilities at its site in Songdo, Korea boast a total of 364,000 L mostly stainless-steel bioreactor capacity, while a fourth ‘super plant’ first announced in 2020 will house an additional 256,000 liters of mammalian production capacity. The first phase of the plant began operations in October last year, unlocking 60,000 L of extra capacity. A fifth facility is in the works, and an area of 350,000 square meters in Songdo acquired last year is set to become a second biocampus for the CDMO.

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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