Samsung Biologics starts operations at world’s largest bio manufacturing plant

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Plant 4 operations will build on those of Plant 3, pictured here. Pic: Samsung Biologics
Plant 4 operations will build on those of Plant 3, pictured here. Pic: Samsung Biologics

Related tags Samsung biologics South korea CDMO

CDMO Samsung Biologics has started partial operations at Plant 4 – the world’s largest single bio manufacturing plant – this month.

The facilities now operational give Samsung Biologics fresh GMP biomanufacturing capacity of 60,000 liters. Total capacity of the plant will reach 240,000 liters once fully open in the first half of next year.

Swift growth

Samsung Biologics facilities are located close to Incheon International airport. Operations at Plant 1 begun in 2015, followed by two additional plants with Plant 3 opening in 2018.

Following the same swift growth schedule, it has taken the company just 23 months from the start of construction to get the first operations online at ‘super plant’ Plant 4. “Samsung is able to construct its plants quickly by implementing our unique parallel & 3D modeling processing, along with years of know-how built through construction of clean-room like facilities in semiconductor plants,” ​the South Korea CDMO told us.

Plant 4 is expected to help Samsung Biologics maximize operational efficiency in addition to further enhancing its scale up development and manufacturing capability in response to growing biopharmaceutical demand.

"At the P4 groundbreaking ceremony in late 2020, we committed to have the plant up and running by October this year. I am very proud to have delivered on that promise, and confident that this will further solidify our position as a global leading CDMO,"​ said John Rim, CEO and President of Samsung Biologics.

Samsung Biologics says it has already sealed a number of large-scale manufacturing contracts with Plant 4: although would only clarify that the operations now running at the plant are ‘contract manufacturing services for a client product’.

By full completion in 2023, plant 4 will be equipped to provide a full range of CDMO services to offer a complete one-stop service including early-stage development and large-scale commercial manufacturing,”​ added the CDMO.

The multi-story 238,000 square meter plant boasts the size needed to meet demand – considerably bigger than the 180,000 liters of Plant 3, which had been the largest single plant of its kind to date. Aside from the capacity, the new site will turn to the latest tech.

“Equipment and instruments will be fully implemented with data integrity and cybersecurity to reduce risk and offer greater client satisfaction by allowing real-time, secure access to information,” ​says the CDMO.

samsung plant 4
Artist's impression of Plant 4

Plant 4 is set to cater for clients from large-scale commercial manufacturing to small-scale CMO, with a flexible facility featuring a line-up of bioreactors ranging from 2,000-liters, 10,000-liters, and 15,000-liters.

The Super Plant will also provide a full range of CDO, CMO, and CRO processes to offer a complete one-stop service, including early-stage development capabilities and large-scale commercial manufacturing with integrated aseptic fill/finish capabilities and a full QC Lab for testing services.

Further expansion

Once Plant 4 is fully opened, Samsung Biologics will boast a total capacity of 604,000 liters at Bio Campus I, the world's largest bio manufacturing site, almost doubling its previous total of 362,000 liters.

This means it will account for nearly 30% of the global CDMO manufacturing capacity.

And further growth is planned. The company has also acquired additional land for Bio Campus II​, which will host Plants 5 through 8, as well as an Open Innovation Center. Construction is set to begin later this year and will be 30% larger in size than Bio Campus I.

Plant 5 will focus on manufacturing multi-modal products, including cell and gene therapies and next-generation vaccines using mRNA, plasmid DNA and viral vectors.

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