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Samsung Bioepis buyout to bolster Samsung Biologics’ portfolio: CEO

Contract manufacturing giant to focus on expanding portfolio, nurturing talent, providing better processes

March 29, 2022 - 15:44 By Kan Hyeong-woo
Samsung Biologics CEO John Rim speaks at the annual shareholders meeting in Songdo, Incheon, Tuesday. (Samsung Biologics)
INCHEON -- With the buyout of Samsung Bioepis’ stake, Samsung Biologics will become a global bio company based on the three pillars of contract development and manufacturing, biosimilars and new drugs, CEO John Rim said Tuesday.

“Through issuing new stocks to raise about 3 trillion won ($2.46 billion) this year, we will take a full-fledged leap into becoming a global comprehensive bio company and lay the groundwork for sustainable growth,” said Rim during the company’s yearly general meeting of shareholders in Songdo, Incheon.

In January, Samsung Biologics reached an agreement with Biogen to buy out the US biotechnology firm’s stake in Samsung Bioepis for 2.7 trillion won.

The CEO highlighted that the company posted record-high sales and operating profits last year on the back of signing numerous contract manufacturing deals with all of its three plants in nearly full operations. Samsung Biologics’ annual sales reached 1.57 trillion won and operating profits marked 537 billion won, up 35 percent and 84 percent on-year, respectively.

For shareholders, Rim said the company will actively review handing out cash dividends after 2025 in consideration of investment, cash flow and financial structure.

Moving forward, the company will focus on investing in its expanding portfolio, professional talent and enhancement of the process of manufacturing, according to the CEO.

“The existing portfolio centered around CMO of antibody drugs will be expanded to next-generational biopharmaceuticals such as cell and gene therapy, pDNA (plasmid DNA) and viral vector,” said the CEO.

The company’s fourth plant under construction is expected to begin partial operations in the second half of this year, according to the company. Once it becomes fully operative next year, Samsung Biologics will have a total capacity of 620,000 liters to cement its No. 1 position worldwide in terms of bioreactor capacity.

He pointed out that Samsung Biologics continued to carry out mass employment in spite of the troubled job market due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, adding that it will keep nurturing global talents in various sectors as it expands business areas. According to the company, it hired over 1,000 new employees last year, increasing the total number of workers by 37 percent on-year.

In regard to providing quicker manufacturing services, Rim noted that the company halved the time it usually takes to complete the process of transferring technology and producing test batches as it signed a contract manufacturing deal with Moderna for its vaccines production. According to the CEO, it took Samsung Biologics only three months, whereas it typically requires about six months on average.

Rim also reaffirmed the company’s will to build overseas factories and plants.

“Samsung Biologics will proactively expand its footholds in the key global areas to become a company that enhances accessibility for customers and provides stable services,” he said.