NEW YORK & SEOUL, South Korea—Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Samsung BioLogics have announced that they will be expanding their existing manufacturing agreement, in which Samsung will manufacture commercial drug substances and drug products for a number of Bristol-Myers Squibb biologic medicines at its manufacturing site in Songdo Incheon, South Korea. No financial details were disclosed.
“Biologic medicines that treat serious diseases are an integral part of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s specialty care portfolio and R&D pipeline,” Lou Schmukler, president of Global Manufacturing & Supply at Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in a press release. “The expanded relationship with Samsung will increase our biologics manufacturing capability and give us the flexibility to respond to increased demand in order to meet the global needs of patients.”
The original manufacturing agreement was announced in July of last year, in which the companies revealed that they would be collaborating in the production of a single commercial antibody cancer drug substance. Though no financial details were released, the companies noted that the agreement had a 10-year duration. Schmukler noted in the July 2013 press release that the agreement “is an important part of our company’s overall manufacturing and supply strategy focused on creating long-term relationships with high-quality manufacturing partners around the world.”
“Samsung is delighted to reach the second manufacturing agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb and we look forward to delivering top quality GMP production,” Dr. Tae-Han Kim, president and CEO of Samsung BioLogics, commented in a statement regarding the expansion. “It represents another significant step for Samsung and Bristol-Myers Squibb in strengthening our biopharmaceutical manufacturing relationship.”
Samsung is also in the process of building a second facility, also based in Incheon, which has an expected completion date of early 2015. The organization seeks to be a full-service provider of contract process development and cGMP manufacturing for the global biopharmaceutical industry, offering services such as cell line generation, analytical services, process and analytical method development and clinical and commercial bulk cGMP manufacturing of drug substance and drug product.
This is the second agreement Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced in as many months. On March 17, the company announced the signing of a collaboration agreement with South San Francisco, Calif.-based Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. for the discovery, development and commercialization of immuno-oncology therapies against targets identified in two undisclosed immune checkpoint pathways using Five Prime’s proprietary target discovery platform. Bristol-Myers Squibb will be utilizing the platform to identify the most viable drug targets as it seeks to advance its immuno-oncology programs. Any drug candidates developed against the new and existing targets may be evaluated as single agents or in combination with other Bristol-Myers immuno-oncology therapies.