GSK inks $231M manufacturing deal as Hal Barron anticipates fruitful year for pruned R&D group
Almost halfway into the big turnaround year that Hal Barron has blueprinted for GlaxoSmithKline’s R&D team, the Big Pharma is unveiling a $231 million manufacturing deal to match the growing commercial portfolio.
In a new partnership, GSK has enlisted Samsung Biologics to provide additional manufacturing capacity for its commercial specialty care drugs, beginning with the lupus drug Benlysta. Production will take place in Samsung’s facilities in Korea, the company told Endpoints News.
“This capacity will be flexible depending on GSK’s future needs and will supplement GSK’s existing manufacturing network,” the company wrote in a statement.
Flexibility was similarly the core theme in an $120 million upgrade announced last September, when execs committed to expanding a longtime site in Upper Merion, Pennsylvania.
The majority of Benlysta will still be manufactured at Rockville, MD, one of nine US manufacturing sites GSK currently operates and the location for a new $150 million facility. Tech transfer to Samsung will start in 2020, with the first commercial supply expected in 2022.
Early in February Barron and CEO Emma Walmsley outlined plans for a “new GSK” in which the vaccine unit would integrate with the pharma group and non-core assets would be auctioned off, triggering a round of layoffs. Six potential approvals are expected as Barron’s 2-year campaign to reverse the drugmaker’s lackluster development rep bears fruit.