CPhI Worldwide 2017

Samsung Biologics: EU or US for fourth plant, but not China

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

CEO TH Kim spoke at the CPhI Preconnect Congress Monday
CEO TH Kim spoke at the CPhI Preconnect Congress Monday

Related tags Samsung biologics South korea European union

Fresh from US approval of its second facility and ahead of the opening of a third, Samsung Biologics is now considering a fourth plant outside of Korea.

Earlier this month​, contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) Samsung Biologics received its first US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to make a monoclonal antibody product from its second facility at its site in Songdo, South Korea.

The plant has mammalian cell culture capacity of 152,000L which makes it the largest single bioproduction facility in the world…

… Until, that is, a third facility is completed later this year, adding a further 180,000L​ of capacity at the site.

But speaking at the CPhI Worldwide Preconnect Congress in Frankfurt, Germany Monday, CEO TH Kim said his firm is already considering constructing a fourth facility but this time outside of Korea.

“Considering the growing needs of our clients for tax reasons and geographic risk management, there is a lot of demand to build a plant out of Korea,”​ he told delegates.

“We are seriously considering building a future plant out of Korea, hopefully in Europe or America, near to our clients.”

Kim was asked whether Samsung Biologics would consider constructing a plant for the rapidly growing Chinese market, but while this may be an option in the future, he remained sure Europe or the US would be the CMO’s first step out of Korea.

“We [have] considered investment in China, but actually there are already many plants in China. At this moment the biomanufacturing demand from China is still lower than the manufacturing capacity.”

According to Kim, Chinese biomanufacturing demand is under 10,000L for now, while the total sum of biomanufacturing capacity in China stands at 30,000L – incidently the size of Samsung Biologics’ plant number one in Songdo.

Samsung Bioloogics also announced its third quarter financials this week. Revenues stood at KRW 127bn ($113m), almost double on Q2 due to the increased utilisation of its second facilty. Net loss dropped by KRW 9.6bn quarter-on-quarter to KRW 31.7bn.

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