Samsung BioLogics to produce Alzheimer’s drugs
Samsung BioLogics is close to winning contract manufacturing deals from Alzheimer’s drug developers including Biogen, the company’s head of global business development James Park said Tuesday (local time).
Biogen drew global attention last month with a surprise announcement that it will seek approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its drug to treat the incurable disease.
“Including Biogen, Samsung BioLogics is contacting more than 20 companies who are developing drugs for Alzheimer’s and making an effort to win manufacturing orders from a number of them,” Park, who is also a senior vice president of Samsung BioLogics, said.
His remark came after Biogen of the U.S. on Oct. 22 announced that it would seek approval from the FDA for its drug aducanumab to treat early stage Alzheimer’s, for which there is now no available treatment.
Biogen’s announcement created a stir in the global pharmaceutical world and on the NASDAQ market, with its stock price soaring nearly 30 percent on the day.
Along with Biogen, more than 20 drugmakers are working on treatments for Alzheimer’s. Park said Samsung BioLogics is contacting them to secure contract manufacturing orders, which will be lucrative revenue sources for the drug manufacturer.
Industry officials said Samsung BioLogics appears to be the closest contract manufacturer for Biogen, ahead of Lonza, Boehringer Ingelheim and other rivals, because of Samsung BioLogics’ available manufacturing capacity.
Park made the remark on the sidelines of the 2019 Convention on Pharmaceutical Ingredients (CPhI) Worldwide in Frankfurt, which began its three-day run on Tuesday. The show is the largest pharmaceutical convention this year, with more than 45,000 experts and professionals registered to attend.
Along with Samsung BioLogics, more than 70 Korean pharmaceutical firms opened their booths at Messe Frankfurt and hosted several information sessions and business meetings with buyers.
During the first-day showcase, Park said Samsung BioLogics has completed building its capacity to provide “end-to-end” drug research, development and manufacturing services to clients, and is ready to grab more opportunities in the flourishing global small-scale drug market.
“We have already accomplished all of our business goals this year and kick off a biosafety testing service at the end of this year, which will be the final piece of our effort to become an end-to-end contract development and manufacturing organization,” Park said.
A biosafety testing service is a process required for the manufacture of biopharmaceutical products to ensure they are safe and free of contaminants. With it, Samsung BioLogics can provide services on the entire journey of a biopharma product, from cell-line development to commercial manufacturing.
Park said the company’s readiness to provide any type of contract drug development and manufacturing will play a pivotal role in the global trend toward small-scale drugs, with a focus on more personalized treatment.
“So far we were able to consolidate our current status with the commercial manufacturing of blockbuster drugs,” Park said. “But the market for the volume of small-scale but more personalized drugs will grow in the near future and we expect to benefit from this as we have improved our flexibility.”
One example Park cited as demonstrating this flexibility is the company’s expanded use of single-use systems, meaning utilizing disposable bags and bioreactors in drug-making processes, which allows for cost savings and more flexible manufacturing capable of handling several products.
Along with the outlook on Alzheimer’s disease, Samsung BioLogics said its N-1 perfusion technology is an additional boost in its productivity, reducing production time for clients by up to 30 percent.