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Samsung BioLogics confirms 3rd consecutive deal with Belgium’s UCB

Korean biopharma firm continues to ramp up global CMO portfolio

South Korea’s leading contract manufacturing organization Samsung BioLogics confirmed Wednesday it has signed its third consecutive deal with Belgium’s UCB, a rare case in the industry.

On top of two other existing deals with the multinational biopharma firm, Samsung BioLogics will now also produce UCB’s anti-tau candidate to treat progressive supranuclear palsy, currently undergoing clinical trials.

The agreement promises Samsung BioLogics a guaranteed fee of 40.3 billion won ($34 million) which could potentially grow to 175.7 billion won upon successful product development. 

(Samsung BioLogics)
(Samsung BioLogics)

This will be the third product from UCB to be supplied by Samsung BioLogics under a master services agreement between both parties announced in July 2018.

The latest agreement comes in 17 months since the previous two were sealed in December 2017.

Choosing a credible CMO partner is crucial as it directly affects the biologics development and manufacturing process.

Samsung BioLogics has contributed to 36 biologics drug approvals every 1 1/2 months on average, since November 2015.

“Samsung BioLogics has proven to be a great partner and we are delighted to be working with them on the third consecutive project to complement our internal resources,” said Scott Russell, head of partnerships and alliances at UCB.

“This new agreement will provide us the opportunity to showcase our newest plant 3 facility and demonstrate our proven track record of operational and regulatory success to enable UCB’s treatment of patients with this debilitating disease,” said Samsung BioLogics President and CEO Kim Tae-han.

With the addition of the new plant, that started operations in October 2018, Samsung BioLogics now has a total manufacturing capacity of 362,000 liters in a single generation.

The companies’ previous deals involve UCB’s products currently undergoing clinical studies, for addressing the needs of patients affected by myasthenia gravis, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

UCB’s anti-tau candidate is being developed for treatment that limits the accumulation of tau protein, known to be the main factor behind Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

The 91-year-old Belgian biopharma company that focuses on neurology and immunology is listed on Euronext Brussels and posted revenue of 6 trillion won last year.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (