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Samsung Biologics Strikes $400m+ Biosimilars Supply Deal With Pfizer

‘Long Term’ Arrangement Covers ‘Large-Scale Manufacturing’ For Pfizer Portfolio

Executive Summary

Samsung Biologics has struck a deal worth over $400m to manufacture multiple biosimilars for Pfizer.

Samsung Biologics and Pfizer have struck a “long-term” deal worth more than $400m that will see the Korean company manufacture multiple biosimilars for Pfizer.

While details of the products involved were not revealed by the firms, Pfizer’s biosimilars portfolio covers several major products – including Zirabev (bevacizumab), Trazimera (trastuzumab), Ruxience (rituximab), Inflectra (infliximab) and Retacrit (epoetin alfa), as well as the Abrilada (adalimumab) biosimilar that will launch imminently in the US – and brought in sales of more than $2bn globally in 2022 (see sidebar).

Under the terms of the new agreement – valued by Samsung at around $411m, or KRW535bn – Samsung Biologics will provide Pfizer with “additional capacity for large-scale manufacturing for a multi-product biosimilars portfolio covering oncology, inflammation, and immunology.”

Samsung is to use its newest facility, Plant 4, to manufacture the Pfizer biosimilars. 

The latest deal comes after Samsung in March this year struck a seven-year biologics contract manufacturing deal worth $183m for a Pfizer product, details of which were not disclosed. 

“We are pleased to extend the strategic collaboration with Pfizer as we share and support their strong vision to bring innovative solutions for patients around the globe,” said John Rim, president and CEO of Samsung Biologics. “This new meaningful partnership comes just as our Plant 4 is fully completed early this month as we had previously committed and are on the move for future expansion into our second campus in order to provide our clients with even more flexible and advanced manufacturing technology.”

Meanwhile, Mike McDermott – chief global supply officer and executive vice president at Pfizer – said the company was “excited to continue our strategic partnership with Samsung Biologics that aims to enable greater access to medicines for more patients across the world,”

“This commitment is a reflection of Pfizer’s trust in the Korean Pharmaceutical industry to address emerging health challenges,” McDermott added, with Pfizer Korea country manager Dong-Wook Oh suggesting that the collaboration with Samsung Biologics “will have the potential to significantly improve the lives of patients globally.”

Stada also recently reinforced its position as a biosimilar manufacturer for Pfizer after receiving approval to supply Retacrit for the US market. (Also see "Stada Gets FDA Nod For US Epoetin Alfa Supply" - Generics Bulletin, 5 Jun, 2023.)

Follows Manufacturing Expansion For Samsung

The deal with Pfizer comes shortly after Samsung announced that it planned to have a new fifth manufacturing plant operational by April 2025, having only just fully completed its latest facility – “the world’s largest biomanufacturing plant,” Plant 4 – on 1 June.

“Marking the first phase of the company’s second Bio Campus, Plant 5 is expected to have the shortest construction timeline,” Samsung Biologics said. With the new plant set to add a capacity of 180,000 liters, the firm emphasized that on completion “Samsung Biologics will maintain the world’s largest biomanufacturing capacity at 784,000 liters.”

Samsung said the move to construct a fifth plant had come “in response to the surging demand for biologics,” pledging “unmatched speed and commitment to providing partners with high-quality services and products.”

Key features of Plant 5 highlighted by Samsung include “seamless process integration and optimization as well as advanced automation to consistently deliver high productivity and quality throughout its operations.” The new plant will also incorporate sustainable systems to support the firm’s commitment in achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or earlier.

“Over a decade ago, we committed to bringing innovative solutions to our partners, and we’ve successfully delivered on that commitment with each new plant,” said CEO Rim. “Now building on this foundation, Plant 5 will leverage our unparalleled experience and expertise to deliver long-term success for our clients.”

“By expediting our capacity expansion and providing fully integrated services, we hope to close the gap between the demand and supply of life-saving biomedicines.”

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