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[Bio USA] Samsung Biologics hints at sales push for new plant

US sales chief says Alzheimer’s drugs are part of strategic focus

June 7, 2023 - 14:45 By Park Han-na

Kevin Sharp, sales head of Samsung Biologics America, speaks during a press conference held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, on the sidelines of the 2023 BIO International Convention on Tuesday. (Samsung Biologics)

BOSTON -- Samsung Biologics' US sales chief said Tuesday that the South Korean drug contract manufacturing giant will bolster its global reach to secure more large-volume orders, tapping Alzheimer’s drugs one of the key focus areas.

On the sidelines of the 2030 BIO International Convention held in Boston this week, Kevin Sharp, sales head of Samsung Biologics America, met with reporters to introduce the company’s overall sales strategy for its upcoming fifth plant that will go online by April 2025.

He stressed the company will look at opportunities in new areas, particularly into areas of growth such as Alzheimer's treatments.

“We do see the potential with the recent approval, as well as with other programs that are near approval, that will allow the US to offer capacity ahead of our competitors into the market that will support large patient populations with (diseases) such as Alzheimer’s,” Sharp said.

The renewed sales push comes a day after Samsung Biologics said its fifth new plant, which will have an annual production capacity of 180,000 liters, will become operational by April 2025, five months earlier than initially planned, in order to meet a rush of orders from big pharmaceutical companies. It would be the shortest construction timeline among the company’s facilities built in Songdo, Incheon, the company’s home production base.

Upon its completion, Samsung Biologics will boast the world's largest bio-manufacturing capacity at 784,000 liters.

According to Sharp, bringing new facilities to the market faster than rivals means that in order to increase the plant’s utilization rate, the company should leverage its swiftness and accuracy in delivering products to attract more clients.

“We'll look at the large volume products that are in the market. Those could consist of existing products that are seeking additional indications where we see continued growth of those volumes, as those products continue to grow outside of the original indications of their initial approvals,” he said.

To provide real-time interaction and be in closer proximity to potential and existing clients in the US and Europe, where a lion share of the company’s clients are based, it also built the first US CDO R&D Center in San Francisco in October 2020.

“Our first expansion outside of South Korea allowed us to be in the United States for CDO development activities that were primarily able to support US biotechs in a more regional and local environment, (which also) supported their clinical (and) early preclinical programs,” he said.

As the latest in a string of different efforts, the company opened a regional office in New Jersey in March.

“Samsung Biologics America supports enhanced client communications. We now have a better window of time to support and communicate with our clients as we are now working in the same or closer time zones to them, offering them real time communications on a day to day basis,” he said.