Sam­sung con­struct­ing new $2B 'Su­per Plan­t' rough­ly the size of Amer­i­ca's largest malls

Sam­sung Bi­o­log­ics is plan­ning to con­struct a new ‘Su­per Plant’ about the size of the biggest shop­ping malls in the US.

Last month, the com­pa­ny an­nounced that it is ex­pect­ing to break ground on the man­u­fac­tur­ing plant, its fourth over­all, some­time be­fore the end of the year. The build­ing, which will cost rough­ly $2 bil­lion, is ex­pect­ed to en­com­pass 238,000 square me­ters, or about 2.5 mil­lion square feet. That’s the size of all three of its cur­rent plants com­bined and about 90% the area of Min­neso­ta’s Mall of Amer­i­ca and Philadel­phia’s King of Prus­sia mall, the coun­try’s two biggest, ful­ly-open malls.

Tae Han Kim

“With the pro­duc­tion of Plant 4, our ‘Su­per Plant,’ Sam­sung Bi­o­log­ics is in­vest­ing in a to­tal line re­fine­ment and ad­di­tion of new mid- and small-scale fa­cil­i­ties to en­sure pro­duc­tion ef­fi­cien­cy and pro­vide top-notch ser­vices to raise the bar even fur­ther to es­tab­lish our­selves as the lead­ing glob­al stan­dard,” CEO Tae Han Kim said in a state­ment.

Sam­sung ex­pects to be­gin man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the sec­ond half of 2022.

The new plant will add 256KL to Sam­sung’s over­all man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­i­ty, bring­ing the com­pa­ny’s to­tal to 620KL. Sam­sung is hop­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on the surge in de­mand for out­sourced man­u­fac­tur­ing due to the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic, say­ing it has signed deals worth 2.5 times its 2019 rev­enue in the first half of this year alone.

Orig­i­nal­ly, this new plant was sup­posed to be far small­er, Kim told the Wall Street Jour­nal this week. But see­ing how the pan­dem­ic cre­at­ed a new prod­uct cat­e­go­ry in Covid-19 treat­ments, he pushed for a larg­er ex­pan­sion as the com­pa­ny is reach­ing max­i­mum ca­pac­i­ty at its cur­rent three plants.

Re­cent­ly, Sam­sung en­tered in­to a $231 mil­lion con­tract with GSK to help pro­duce the British drug­mak­er’s spe­cial­ty care drugs, such as the lu­pus drug Benlysta. The com­pa­ny al­so makes drugs for Bris­tol My­ers Squibb and the Roche group.

Found­ed in 2011, Sam­sung Bi­o­log­ics is a rel­a­tive­ly re­cent ven­ture for the con­glom­er­ate known main­ly for its smart­phones. Over the last sev­er­al years, it’s been mired in an ac­count­ing scan­dal as the com­pa­ny al­leged­ly in­flat­ed its val­ue ahead of its 2016 pub­lic list­ing.

Three ex­ecs were jailed last De­cem­ber for de­stroy­ing ev­i­dence re­lat­ed to the probe af­ter South Ko­re­an reg­u­la­tors raid­ed an of­fice build­ing and found con­cealed lap­tops, com­put­er servers and USB dri­vers un­der­neath a meet­ing room floor. Ac­cord­ing to the Jour­nal, Kim was one of 11 cur­rent and for­mer high­er-ups in­dict­ed on Tues­day for var­i­ous fraud and mar­ket-vi­o­la­tion counts. Sam­sung has de­nied all wrong­do­ing in the case.

At the In­flec­tion Point for the Next Gen­er­a­tion of Can­cer Im­munother­a­py

While oncology researchers have long pursued the potential of cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, it was unclear whether these therapies would ever reach patients due to the complexity of manufacturing and costs of development. Fortunately, the recent successful development and regulatory approval of chimeric antigen receptor-engineered T (CAR-T) cells have demonstrated the significant benefit of these therapies to patients.

All about Omi­cron; We need more Covid an­tivi­rals; GSK snags Pfiz­er’s vac­cine ex­ec; Janet Wood­cock’s fu­ture at FDA; and more

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Merck's new antiviral molnupiravir (Quality Stock Arts / Shutterstock)

As Omi­cron spread looms, oral an­tivi­rals ap­pear to be one of the best de­fens­es — now we just need more

After South African scientists reported a new Covid-19 variant — dubbed Omicron by the WHO — scientists became concerned about how effective vaccines and monoclonal antibodies might be against it, which has more than 30 mutations in the spike protein.

“I think it is super worrisome,” Dartmouth professor and Adagio co-founder and CEO Tillman Gerngross told Endpoints News this weekend. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel echoed similar concerns, telling the Financial Times that experts warned him, “This is not going to be good.”

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Common performs onstage, December 2020 (Getty Images)

Com­mon, Jamie Foxx among celebs stand­ing up for clin­i­cal tri­als in star-stud­ded can­cer group's pan­dem­ic push

Healthcare screenings and clinical trial enrollment were battered by the pandemic. But the well-known celebrity-backed Stand Up To Cancer non-profit, along with pharma and advocacy partners, has been working to reverse that and make up lost ground, by stepping up awareness campaigns.

Twelve campaigns launched in 2020 and another five in 2021 amplify the need for cancer screening and care, especially for underserved communities. While pharma companies have long been donors to the cancer research group, Covid brought new support — and increased awareness efforts.

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Usama Malik

Ex-Im­munomedics CFO charged with in­sid­er trad­ing, faces up to 20 years in prison af­ter al­leged­ly tip­ping off girl­friend and rel­a­tives of a PhI­II suc­cess

The former CFO of Immunomedics, who helped steer the company to its $21 billion buyout by Gilead last year, has been charged with insider trading, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Usama Malik tipped off his then-girlfriend and four others that a Phase III study for Trodelvy would be stopped early four days before Immunomedics publicly announced the result in April 2020, DoJ alleged in its complaint. The individuals then purchased Immunomedics shares, selling them after the news broke and Immunomedics’ stock price doubled.

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Lisa Deschamps, AviadoBio CEO

Ex-No­var­tis busi­ness head hops over to a gene ther­a­py start­up — and she's reeled in $80M for a dash to the clin­ic

Neurologist and King’s College London professor Christopher Shaw has been researching neurodegenerative diseases like ALS and collaborating with drugmakers for the last 25 years in the hopes of pushing new therapies forward. But unfortunately, none of those efforts have come anywhere close to fruition.

“So, you know, after 20 years in the game, I said, ‘Let’s try and do it ourselves,’” he told Endpoints News. 

UP­DAT­ED: Am­gen halts some drug dis­counts for safe­ty net hos­pi­tals as SCO­TUS takes on 340B case

Amgen will soon be the 10th biopharma company to pull back on offering drug discounts to contract pharmacies of safety-net hospitals under a federal program. Like its peers, Amgen argues that the growth of these contract pharmacies has ballooned in recent years and needs to be reigned in.

Beginning Jan. 3, 2022, Amgen’s policy will only allow 340B covered hospitals to designate a single pharmacy location, with the exception of federal grantees and contract pharmacies wholly owned by a 340B hospital, or that have common ownership with a health system.

In­cor­po­rat­ing Ex­ter­nal Da­ta in­to Clin­i­cal Tri­als: Com­par­ing Dig­i­tal Twins to Ex­ter­nal Con­trol Arms

Most drug development professionals are familiar with the nerve-racking wait for the read-out of a large trial. If it’s negative, is the investigational therapy ineffective? Or could the failure result from an unforeseen flaw in the design or execution of the protocol, rather than a lack of efficacy? The team could spend weeks analyzing data, but a definitive answer may be elusive due to insufficient power for such analyses in the already completed trial. These problems are only made worse if the trial had lower enrollment, or higher dropout than expected due to an unanticipated event like COVID-19. And if a trial is negative, the next one is likely to be larger and more costly — if it happens at all.

What's fair? New ICER re­port shows pay­ers gen­er­al­ly en­sur­ing fair ac­cess to drugs

The nonprofit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review on Wednesday released a new report highlighting the ways in which payers are generally ensuring fair access to prescription drugs, even when based on a set of criteria set by the nonprofit.

While noting the lack of transparency hindered the report’s results, ICER said that the “great majority” of payer policies in the formularies evaluated are structured in a way to support many key elements of how ICER defines “fair access.”