SOUTH KOREA — Samsung Biologics, a leading biopharmaceutical company based in South Korea, has secured a significant contract worth US$411 million from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

This deal signifies a major milestone for Samsung as it involves the manufacturing of biosimilars for Pfizer on a large scale, covering a diverse range of therapeutic areas such as oncology, inflammation, and immunology.

The collaboration between the two companies is expected to be long-term, indicating a strong commitment to mutual success.

Pfizer’s biosimilar portfolio includes replicas of Roche’s prominent cancer drugs—Rituxan, Avastin, and Herceptin—along with biosimilar versions of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade and Amgen’s Neupogen.

The biosimilar competition for Humira, a highly successful drug, is anticipated to intensify in the coming months.

While the introduction of biosimilars has not yet led to significant price reductions as initially anticipated, several new biosimilars for Humira are expected to enter the market soon, with some potentially offering heavily discounted prices.

Among the upcoming competitors are Amgen’s Amjevita, Samsung’s collaboration with Bioepis/Organon called Hadima, and Pfizer’s Abrilada.

These additions to the market could bring more affordability and accessibility to patients, considering AbbVie’s Humira sales surpassing US$21 billion through 2021.

In addition to securing partnerships and expanding its biosimilar portfolio, Samsung Biologics has exciting plans for its future operations.

Samsung Biologics, in a financial filing, disclosed that the value of the contract with Pfizer amounts to US$411 million, making it the largest deal of its kind for the company and surpassing its previous record of US$359.7 million set with AstraZeneca.

This recent agreement follows an earlier US$184 million deal signed between Samsung Biologics and Pfizer in March, further strengthening their collaboration and reflecting the trust placed in Samsung’s capabilities.

Samsung Biologics’ president and CEO, John Rim, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing the completion of Plant 4 this month as planned and the company’s future expansion into its second campus.

Rim highlighted the importance of providing clients with advanced manufacturing technology and increased flexibility to meet their evolving needs.

Additionally, Samsung Biologics announced its plan to open Plant 5, a state-of-the-art facility with a budget of US$1.5 billion, by April 2025.

Once operational, the site will significantly augment the company’s manufacturing capacity, adding 180,000 liters to its existing campus in Incheon, South Korea.

This expansion will bring Samsung Biologics’ total capacity to an impressive 784,000 liters, making it the largest single-site capacity in the industry.

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