The Korea Herald


Samsung Biologics wins record Pfizer deal

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : June 8, 2023 - 16:09

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Samsung Biologics’ Plant 3 (Samsung Biologics) Samsung Biologics’ Plant 3 (Samsung Biologics)

Samsung Biologics said Thursday the company won a $411.3 million contract manufacturing deal from Pfizer to produce the US-based pharmaceutical giant’s biosimilar products.

Even though the company didn’t specify the product name, industry watchers predict that the deal is highly likely to involve producing Pfizer’s Abrilada, a biosimilar to the autoimmune disease drug known as Humira.

In the statement, Samsung said it will produce Pfizer’s multiple biosimilar products with indications for tumor and inflammatory diseases.

Abrilada is a monoclonal anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha antibody used in the treatment of a wide variety of inflammatory conditions. Pfizer is currently seeking to win an interchangeability designation for Abrilada and plans to launch the biosimilar as early as July in the US.

Samsung Biologics added Pfizer’s products will be produced at the company’s recently finished fourth plant.

Other details of the deal, including the contract period, were not revealed immediately. Samsung only said it is a “long-term” contract.

According to Samsung Biologics, the latest deal is the largest of its kind for the Korean firm, followed by its previous record deal worth $359.7 million with AstraZeneca.

It also marks the second deal with Pfizer. In March this year, the company signed a 241 billion won ($184 million) deal to manufacture Pfizer’s single product.

"This partnership is a great example of Pfizer's confidence in the Korean pharmaceutical industry, and we are pleased to continue and expand our strategic partnership with Samsung Biologics to bring better treatment options to patients around the world," said Mike McDermott, Pfizer’s chief global supply officer.

Meanwhile, Samsung Biologics announced on Monday (local time) at the 2023 BIO International Convention that the company will start operating its fifth plant in April 2025, five months earlier than its original schedule, in order to meet a rush of orders from global big pharma companies.

Upon the plant's full completion, the company will maintain its global leadership in biomanufacturing capacity with a total of 784,000 liters.