Samsung Biologics

Samsung Biologics, one of the world’s largest contract development and manufacturing organizations, is closing out 2023 with the announcement that it’s reached a record annual sales level of over 3 trillion South Korean won (roughly $2.3 billion). The CDMO is in contract with 15 of the 20 world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Novartis. 

“We are building a solid trust relationship with our customers, and after the initial contract, we are seeing an increase in contract product expansion or the scale of production for existing contracted volumes, strengthening partnerships with all the big pharmaceutical companies,” a spokesperson from Samsung Biologics told the Korea Times

The announcement of the most recent sales figures comes on the heels of Samsung Biologics’ third quarter earnings report, in which it announced over 1 trillion won in sales for Q3, marking the first time the company had eclipsed 1 trillion won in a single quarter. 

“Our expanding partnerships with global leading pharmaceutical companies and a thriving sales backlog reflect the trust our clients place in us and our capabilities,” said Samsung Biologics’ President and CEO John Rim in a statement on the report.

He went on to explain the company’s plans to continue to expand its portfolio and build new facilities in the year ahead.

“Looking ahead, our expansion plans, including the construction of the [antibody-drug conjugates] facility and Plant 5, will meet the increasing market demand and support our clients’ needs for both capacity and business diversification.” 

CDMO Sales Growth

Samsung Biologics’ increase in sales comes amid a backdrop of broader CDMO industry growth, as more pharmaceutical companies are deciding to outsource manufacturing services to focus on research and development. Some experts chart the industry’s current value at over $200 billion, with projections of eclipsing $300 billion by 2028. 

In surpassing 3 trillion won in annual contracts for the first time — double the value from the previous year — Samsung Biologics is a major player in this industry growth. In its most recent earnings report, the company highlighted several other notable milestones it achieved this year. 

Its over 1 trillion won in Q3 revenue was 18.4% higher than the 873 billion won in revenue from Q3 2022. The company also saw a substantial increase in net profit, reaching 240 billion won, up 86% from 129 billion won in Q3 2022. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization also rose by 11.6% year over year, from 409 billion won to 457 billion won.

Facility and Portfolio Expansion

Samsung Biologics has used its burgeoning revenue to invest in expanding its facilities and portfolio. The latest examples are the completion of Plant 4, the world’s largest biomanufacturing facility based at a single plant, in June 2023, and the commencement of construction of Plant 5, which is scheduled for completion in 2025. 

Currently, the CDMO has the most capacity in the industry, with 604,000 liters at its headquarters in Songdo, South Korea. The completion of Plant 5 is set to increase the total capacity to 784,000 liters​. Plant 5 is the first of several planned manufacturing plants at the company’s second Bio Campus. It purchased 357,366 square meters (about 88.3 acres) of land in the Incheon Free Economic Zone to construct the new facility, which will also house an innovation hub to help incubate startups. Samsung Biologics is scheduled to invest 7.5 trillion won in building Bio Campus II. 

“Given the continuing increase in the demand for outsourced manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, we are proactively making this investment in alignment with our growth strategy to further strengthen our standing as a leading CDMO,” said Rim in an announcement about the beginning of construction on Plant 5. “The new facility will enable us to provide our customers with even greater innovation and services that will increase speed to market and flexibility.”

In terms of portfolio expansion, Samsung Biologics has invested in several startups through the Samsung Life Science Fund, a collaborative venture between Samsung Biologics and Samsung C&T. The fund has supported gene therapeutic drug developer Jaguar Gene Therapy, U.S. nano-medicine startup Senda Bioscience, and antibody-drug conjugate developer Araris Biotech AG. 

Going forward, the company has expressed interest in advancing novel treatments in areas like ADCs and bispecific antibodies in addition to its foundational expertise in monoclonal antibodies.

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