John Rim, Samsung Biologics CEO

Amid glob­al ex­pan­sion, Sam­sung Bi­o­log­ics pledges emis­sions drops in new ESG re­port

As the biotech man­u­fac­tur­ing arm of one of Ko­rea’s largest con­glom­er­ates is aim­ing to rapid­ly ex­pand its glob­al pres­ence af­ter a large in­vest­ment by its par­ent, Sam­sung Bi­o­log­ics is al­so keep­ing a close eye on en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and gov­er­nance (ESG) goals.

Its sec­ond ESG re­port breaks down the com­pa­ny’s goals for re­new­able en­er­gy in fu­ture projects as well as a big­ger com­mit­ment to re­duce emis­sions.

The re­port lays out progress in re­duc­ing both di­rect and in­di­rect emis­sions and dou­bles down on its com­mit­ment to drop the to­tal by 54% by 2026 com­pared to 2021. That comes on top of a 32% re­duc­tion year over year. Sam­sung Bi­o­log­ics al­so said it would cut “oth­er” emis­sions such as in­di­rect green­house gas­es from trans­porta­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion by about 26% by 2026.

The com­pa­ny is al­so ac­tive­ly work­ing with sup­pli­ers to tran­si­tion to net ze­ro emis­sions as well as in­vest in re­new­able en­er­gy.

CEO John Rim told End­points News in an email that along with the emis­sions drops, the big change since the last re­port is that the com­pa­ny is now par­tic­i­pat­ing in a se­ries of cli­mate change-re­lat­ed ini­tia­tives. That in­cludes the com­pa­ny’s in­volve­ment in the Sus­tain­able Mar­kets Ini­tia­tive, which was launched by the roy­al fam­i­ly in the UK to re­duce emis­sions in the sup­ply chain. Sam­sung al­so plans to par­tic­i­pate in a cli­mate risk man­age­ment mod­el­ing project by Fi­nan­cial Su­per­vi­so­ry Ser­vice, called Fron­tier 1.5D, and the Car­bon Dis­clo­sure Pro­ject where it cur­rent­ly holds a B rat­ing.

“In 2021, we an­a­lyzed every part of our busi­ness man­age­ment to see where we can make quick and ef­fec­tive progress in our di­rect op­er­a­tions, and are now ac­tive­ly set­ting long-term goals to­wards de­car­boniza­tion,” Rim said in the email.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Sam­sung’s new projects, which in­clude a new cam­pus dubbed Bio Cam­pus Two lo­cat­ed ad­ja­cent to its cur­rent 60-acre cam­pus in Song­do, South Ko­rea, will un­der­go en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ments. The Bio Cam­pus Two as­sess­ment is set to an­a­lyze and re­vis­it the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of the de­sign which al­ready in­cludes us­ing re­new­able en­er­gy on the cam­pus.

Sam­sung Bi­o­log­ics’ new “Su­per Plant,” dubbed Plant 4, is al­so ex­pect­ed to in­clude re­new­able en­er­gy such as flat and mul­ti-lay­ered so­lar pan­els on its roof.

Ex­pand­ing di­ver­si­ty, eq­ui­ty and in­clu­sion was an­oth­er goal dis­cussed in the ESG re­port, and as Rim point­ed out, it’s ex­pand­ing do­na­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties for youth ed­u­ca­tion and schol­ar­ship.

The new pro­grams in­clude ca­reer coun­sel­ing for mid­dle school stu­dents in low-in­come fam­i­lies and a project to of­fer self-suf­fi­cien­cy train­ing and sup­port for at-risk youth.

“We are work­ing to ac­cel­er­ate di­verse rep­re­sen­ta­tion at all lev­els of lead­er­ship and achieve an eq­ui­table and in­clu­sive cul­ture,” Rim said. “We know we have much more work to do in this area, but we are com­mit­ted to tak­ing ac­tion by pro­gress­ing our ef­forts on women in lead­er­ship and de­vel­op­ing our frame­work of in­clu­sive poli­cies.”

Among its gov­er­nance goals, the com­pa­ny split the chair and CEO po­si­tions and grant­ed out­side di­rec­tors the right to re­quest doc­u­men­ta­tion. In March, Sam­sung Bi­o­log­ics cre­at­ed a cross-or­ga­ni­za­tion task force to pre­vent se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents through process risk as­sess­ment and risk man­age­ment.

The ESG ac­count­ing comes as the CD­MO is re­ceiv­ing a big chunk of change from its par­ent com­pa­ny look­ing to in­vest more in biotech. In an in­ter­view at #BIO22, Rim said the plant and cam­pus ex­pan­sions are be­ing spurred by ro­bust client de­mand, even as the com­pa­ny looks to in­vest in ad­di­tion­al fa­cil­i­ties re­lat­ed to CDO, gene ther­a­py and mR­NA pro­duc­tion.

Susan Galbraith, AstraZeneca EVP, oncology R&D, at EUBIO22 (Rachel Kiki for Endpoints News)

Up­dat­ed: As­traZeneca jumps deep­er in­to cell ther­a­py 2.0 space with $320M biotech M&A

Right from the start, the execs at Neogene had some lofty goals in mind when they decided to try their hand at a cell therapy that could tackle solid tumors.

Its founders have helped hone a new approach that would pack in multiple neoantigen targets to create a personalized TCR treatment that would not just make the leap from blood to solid tumors, but do it with durability. And they managed to make their way rapidly to the clinic, unveiling their first Phase I program for advanced tumors just last May.

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Ei­sai’s ex­pand­ed Alzheimer’s da­ta leave open ques­tions about safe­ty and clin­i­cal ben­e­fit

Researchers still have key questions about Eisai’s investigational Alzheimer’s drug lecanemab following the publication of more Phase III data in the New England Journal of Medicine Tuesday night.

In the paper, which was released in conjunction with presentations at an Alzheimer’s conference, trial investigators write that a definition of clinical meaningfulness “has not been established.” And the relative lack of new information, following topline data unveiled in September, left experts asking for more — setting up a potential showdown to precisely define how big a difference the drug makes in patients’ lives.

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Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

Twit­ter dis­ar­ray con­tin­ues as phar­ma ad­ver­tis­ers ex­tend paus­es and look around for op­tions, but keep tweet­ing

Pharma advertisers on Twitter are done — at least for now. Ad spending among the previous top spenders flattened even further last week, according to the latest data from ad tracker Pathmatics, amid ongoing turmoil after billionaire boss Elon Musk’s takeover now one month ago.

Among 18 top advertisers tracked for Endpoints News, only two are spending: GSK and Bayer. GSK spending for the full week through Sunday was minimal at just under $1,900. Meanwhile, German drugmaker Bayer remains the industry outlier upping its spending to $499,000 last week from $480,000 the previous week. Bayer’s spending also marks a big increase from a month ago and before the Musk takeover, when it spent $16,000 per week.

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Vi­a­tris with­draws ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval for top­i­cal an­timi­cro­bial 24 years lat­er

After 24 years without confirming clinical benefit, the FDA announced Tuesday morning that Viatris (formed via Mylan and Pfizer’s Upjohn) has decided to withdraw a topical antimicrobial agent, Sulfamylon (mafenide acetate), after the company said conducting a confirmatory study was not feasible.

Sulfamylon first won FDA’s accelerated nod in 1998 as a topical burn treatment, with the FDA noting that last December, Mylan told the agency that it wasn’t running the trial.

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Catal­ent to cut about 200 jobs in Mary­land and Texas

Contract manufacturing company Catalent is cutting about 200 jobs in Maryland and Texas, according to WARN notices, trimming back some of its pandemic-era expansion.

The company will cut 77 jobs by Jan. 15 of next year at a cell therapy facility in Webster, TX, just outside of Houston. In Maryland, the company is reducing staff at two locations, with 82 jobs being eliminated at Catalent’s facility in Gaithersburg, and 53 in Rockville. The layoffs go into effect at those locations on Jan. 14.

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iECURE CEO Joe Truitt and founder Jim Wilson

Jim Wil­son biotech iECURE gets fresh $65M to push pe­di­atric liv­er dis­ease gene ther­a­py in­to the clin­ic

Jim Wilson-founded biotech iECURE has wrapped a $65M Series A extension round to get its lead candidate — a gene replacement therapy for a rare inherited liver disease known as ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, or OTC — into the clinic.

This round was co-led by Novo Holdings and LYFE Capital, followed by initial investors Versant and OrbiMed as well. In September 2021, iECURE raised a $50 million Series A led by the latter two. The new cash infusion will get iECURE through an initial in-human trial, which CEO Joe Truitt told Endpoints News iECURE hopes to read out in 2024.

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Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: Pfiz­er, BioN­Tech re-up iHeartRa­dio hol­i­day spon­sor­ship; WHO re­names mon­key­pox to 'm­pox'

It’s that time of year again for pop music fans with the return of the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour — and Pfizer and BioNTech’s sponsorship. For the second year, the Covid-19 vaccine collaborators are the pharma national sponsors among consumer brand partners, including ESPN, Dunkin, M&Ms, Mercedes and Pepsi.

Pfizer and BioNTech are also sponsoring the official Jingle Ball Radio streaming station on iHeart’s network, programmed with music from past and present concert performers. This year they include Lizzo, Dua Lipa, Dove Cameron and Charlie Puth. Pfizer-sponsored radio ads and online video and digital banner ads encourage listeners to get updated Covid-19 booster shots.

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Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO (AP Images)

Nestlé re­con­sid­ers peanut al­ler­gy pro­gram two years af­ter $2.6B buy­out

It seems Nestlé is experiencing some buyer’s remorse two years after throwing down $2.6 billion for Aimmune Therapeutics and its peanut allergy pill Palforzia.

CEO Mark Schneider announced on Tuesday that Nestlé is “exploring strategic options” for Palforzia following lower-than-expected demand. A company spokesperson declined to confirm whether a potential sale is in consideration.

“The review is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023. Going forward, Nestlé Health Science will sharpen its focus on Consumer Care and Medical Nutrition,” the company said in a news release.

Tim Walbert, Horizon Therapeutics CEO (via YouTube)

Hori­zon Ther­a­peu­tics in takeover talks with Am­gen, J&J, Sanofi as po­ten­tial buy­ers

Amgen, J&J’s Janssen and Sanofi are all in talks to acquire Horizon Therapeutics, the rare disease biotech disclosed late Tuesday.

Horizon confirmed “highly preliminary discussions” with those companies regarding a potential buyout offer after the Wall Street Journal reported takeover interest.

Although the company — which commands a market cap of close to $18 billion — emphasized that “there can be no certainty that any offer will be made for the Company,” shares $HZNP still surged 31% in after-hours trading to near $103, bringing it to the point where it started the year.

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