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Beyond the CDMO: Samsung Biologics reveals Big Pharma ambition

Having grown into one of the world’s largest CDMOs, Samsung Biologics says its next step is to become a top tier pharmaceutical company.

Dan Stanton

June 16, 2021

2 Min Read
Beyond the CDMO: Samsung Biologics reveals Big Pharma ambition
Sam MacHour, SVP and chief quality officer at Samsung Biologics, spoke to BioProcess Insider as part of this year’s virtual BIO conference.

Having grown into one of the world’s largest bio-CDMOs over the past decade, Samsung Biologics says its next step is to become a top tier pharmaceutical company.

Incheon, Korea-based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Samsung Biologics boasts three plants hosting a total of 364,000 L of mostly stainless-steel bioreactor capacity. Last year, the firm began construction on a fourth facility, housing an additional 256,000 liters of mammalian production capacity as well as fill/finish capabilities.

“it’s going to be delivered as we’ve promised by the end of next year,” Sam MacHour, SVP and chief quality officer at Samsung Biologics told BioProcess Insider as part of this year’s virtual BIO conference.

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Sam MacHour, SVP and chief quality officer at Samsung Biologics, spoke to BioProcess Insider as part of this year’s virtual BIO conference.

“It will be using the latest technology from all aspects of manufacturing and quality. I’m really looking forward to plant number four, you know, build this quickly within the Incheon campus.”

Since its inception in 2011, Samsung Biologics has rapidly made its mark on the biopharma services landscape. With the four plants in place, the firm claims its site will host about 30% of the total global biologics CDMO capacity.

Concurrently, the firm is looking to advance its business into other sectors within the industry. Recently the company has announced plans to bring mRNA capabilities to its offering, expanded its development services into the US, and added drug product capacity.

But going forward, the firm is looking beyond the services sector and hopes to compete in the novel biopharmaceutical space, MacHour revealed.

The next step, “is to be one of the top tier pharmaceutical companies… That’s not just an ambition of the company it’s our GP [game plan] going forward,” he told us.

“We have the capabilities inhouse and we have the ambition to be able to grow beyond the business model where we are.”

He added that with a young and highly motivated workforce – averaging 25-26 years in age – the company has in just five years grown “the number one worldwide capacity” and  so  “there’s nothing stopping Samsung Biologics for taking itself to the next level, which is a full fledge pharmaceutical company.”

“We’re working on those plans to make sure that we’re going in that direction. We will do whatever it takes to fulfill those ambitions.”

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.