Samsung Biologics: IPO will support ambition to be top bio-CMO

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/belekekin
Image: iStock/belekekin

Related tags Initial public offering

Samsung Biologics says going public will help fulfil its ambition to become the world’s largest biologics contract manufacturing organisation (CMO).

The CMO announced plans to file an initial public offering (IPO) yesterday and is looking to launch on the KOSPI (Korea Composite Stock Price Index) later this year.

The firm is hoping to secure funds for future investments and research into innovative technologies as part of a plan to become the dominant player among biologics CMOs.

Samsung Biologics spokesperson Inchan Hwang was unable to tell how much the firm hopes to raise, but according to the Korea Herald​ at least 3 trillion won ($2.6bn) worth of new shares are likely to be issued.

Hwang said further details on the exact timing of the listing and the volume of shares to be offered would be revealed next month.

Capacity expansion

The IPO will support recent capacity investments by Samsung Biologics. In December​ the firm announced it was investing $740m to build a third facility at its mammalian cell culture manufacturing site in Songdo, South Korea.

When the plant comes on line in late 2018 – depending on validation timing – it will double current capacity to 360,000L, making it the largest biologics production site in the world, surpassing such mega-sites as Genentech’s Vacaville, California site​ (set to have a capacity of 240,000L), and fellow Korean CMO Celltrion, whose site will boast 230,000L following a planned 90,000L expansion.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is among the CMO’s customers, with a 10-year production agreement for cancer monoclonal antibody Yervoy (ipilimumab) inked in July 2013​ and extended the following April​. The firm also manufactures biologics for Swiss biopharma Roche​.

Samsung Biologics is also involved in a biosimilar-focused joint venture with Biogen. The entity, known as Samsung Bioepis, recently saw regulatory success​ for its version of Amgen’s Enbrel (etanercept), Benepali in Europe.

Samsung Bioepis is currently considering its own IPO​, albeit on NASDAQ.

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