Samsung Bio buoyed by COVID, citing mRNA and mAbs as drivers

Samsung Biologics says COVID-19 related demand drove growth in 2021 and predicts mRNA business will be key this year. 

The Korean contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) saw revenue of KRW444.3 billion ($328 million) in the fourth quarter of 2021, up 18% on the comparable period in 2020.  

Profits increase 39% to KRW128.8 billion. For the full year revenue and operating profit grew 35% and 84%, respectively. 

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Samsung also said its fourth quarter operating margin jumped 29% due to increased utilization across all manufacturing plants as well as an improved product mix. 

CEO John Rim cited the pandemic and related demand for contract manufacturing services as a major growth driver. 

“With a steep increase in demand for medicines due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, there was a great need for CDMO capabilities around the world to ensure a reliable supply of high-quality biological products.” 

Forecast 

Looking forward, Samsung said it had created a strong foundation for its mRNA business foundation.  

The CDMO cited its strategic partnership agreements with Moderna – which covers fill and finish – and Greenlight Biosciences – for the manufacturing of mRNA vaccines – as examples. 

Samsung also predicted its recently launched monoclonal antibody development offering – based on a technology called S-Cellerate – would also drive growth in 2022. 

Expansion 

The CDMO also said construction of its fourth plant – plans for which were announced in 2020 – is six months ahead of schedule and predicted that manufacturing operations would begin before the end of the year. 

In addition, it reiterated plans for a fifth manufacturing facility. It said that the plant will house capacity for the production of cell and gene therapies and next-generation vaccines utilizing mRNA, pDNA and viral vectors. 

Samsung also announced plans for an open innovation center at its base in Songdo, South Korea and said it intends to further expand “its global footprint beyond its San Francisco R&D center.”