According to GSK, the partnership with Samsung Biologics has been agreed to provide it with additional capacity to manufacture its biologic therapies. The exact capacity will be ‘flexible’ depending on what GSK’s requirements are.
The product at the heart of the early stages of the deal is Benlysta (belimumab), with the technology transfer for its manufacture beginning this year and commercial production expected to begin in 2022.
Benlysta is a treatment for patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus. In 2017, GSK announced that it would expand capacity at its Maryland, US, site to meet demand for the treatment.
The work was completed last year and resulted in an increase of manufacturing capacity for the product by 50%.
However, with the latest deal with Samsung Biologics, clearly there is still demand to be met. In full year 2019 financials, GSK reported that sales of the product were up by 25% to £613m ($745m).
The deal will cover an initial eight-year period, with a value of $231m (€212m).
Although the deal will initially cover Benlysta, the companies said that the deal will later be expanded to additional specialty-care biologic products.