Samsung Biologics Co. on Friday said that it signed an eight-year contract manufacturing organization (CMO) deal valued at 287 billion won ($231 million) with GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) to supply biopharmaceutical products.
Under the CMO agreement, Samsung Group’s biopharmaceutical affiliate would commercially manufacture GSK’s lupus treatment drug named Benlysta (belimumab), starting in 2022. The company said that upon GSK’s request, it could expand to making other drugs for the British pharmaceutical company.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the person’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal and healthy tissue and organs.
Regis Simard, president of GSK’s pharmaceuticals supply chain, said that the agreement with Samsung Biologics strengthened its world-renowned pharmaceutical manufacturing capability. The CMO would also help the company to continue to provide its transformative medicines.
Samsung Biologics also announced that it secured another CMO deal worth 186 billion won ($150 million) with an unspecified U.S.-based partner. The agreement would have Samsung Biologics make the U.S. company’s biologic drug at its No. 3 plant.
Under the mutual agreement, Samsung would keep the details of the contract confidential until December 31, 2023. The company added that depending on further talks, the deal could rise to 276 billion won ($222 million) in the long term.
Last April, Samsung Biologics secured an order from U.S.-based Vir Biotechnology Inc. worth 442 billion won ($358 million) to manufacture antibodies that could potentially cure COVID-19.
Samsung Biologics’ chief executive Kim Tae-han said that the company feels excited and proud of the announcement of the long-term CMO with GSK.
Besides CMOs, Samsung Biologics also participates in contract research organization (CRO) and contract development organization (CDO) sectors.
Currently, the Samsung Group subsidiary operates three plants located in Incheon, which could produce 362,000 liters of biosimilars yearly. This makes Samsung Biologics the largest maker of biologic medical products.