Samsung Biologics nets $330M+ deal from AstraZeneca ahead of 'Super Plant' construction
Just a few weeks after announcing plans to construct a $2 billion “Super Plant,” Samsung Biologics is keeping its foot on the gas.
The Korean CDMO has inked a $330.8 million manufacturing contract with AstraZeneca, the companies announced Monday evening, providing the British drugmaker the ability to expand production capabilities in the Asia market. Per terms of the deal, the partnership could be increased to $545.6 million.
Monday’s deal comes after the two companies signed a letter of intent back in June. It remained unclear specifically which drugs would be produced at Samsung’s facilities, only that it would include “biologics therapeutics,” per the announcement.
Production will take place at Samsung’s Plant 3, currently the world’s largest drug manufacturing plant. The site possesses 180KL of production capacity from 12 separate 15KL tanks.
Plant 3’s superlative, however, will be handed over to the Super Plant once construction is completed at its hub in Incheon, South Korea. Samsung announced plans for the Super Plant, to be called Plant 4, at the end of August and detailed at the time that it would cover roughly the same area as the largest shopping malls in the US.
The new building is expected to encompass 238,000 square meters, or about 2.5 million square feet, about 90% the area of Minnesota’s Mall of America and Philadelphia’s King of Prussia mall. Plant 4 will add 256KL to Samsung’s overall manufacturing capacity, bringing the company’s total to 620KL. Samsung is expected to break ground on the plant before the end of the year.
At the time, CEO Tae Han Kim told the Wall Street Journal that the Super Plant was expected to be far smaller. But with the surge in demand for Covid-19 therapeutics, potentially a whole new category of products, Kim pressed for a larger expansion with the company approaching maximum capacity.
This is the second manufacturing deal Samsung has signed with a major Western drugmaker in the last four months, as the CDMO reached a $231 million agreement with GSK back in May. That contract provides capacity for GSK’s specialty care products, such as the lupus drug Benlysta.
As for AstraZeneca, Monday’s deal follows a $630 million commitment to increase R&D in South Korea from June 2019, the company announced on its Korean website at the time. The cash provides for five years worth of investment, from this year through 2024. AstraZeneca confirmed the deal to FierceBiotech but declined to give any specifics.