Samsung BioLogics CEO expects it to lead the biopharma pack by 2018

Currently the No. 3 contract maker of biologics, Samsung BioLogics’ chief executive forecast that the company is headed to be the top player in the field within the next two years, controlling about 34% of global output. He cited expansion of its manufacturing plants in South Korea’s Incheon Songdo district that currently produces drugs for clients like Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche.

Kim Tae-han, president and CEO of Samsung BioLogics, made the prediction at the Nikkei Global Management Forum in Tokyo, and just ahead of the company’s planned public offering on the Korea Exchange this week. It’s estimated that the IPO will raise from $1.7 billion to $2 billion and value the company as high as $8.2 billion.

"The global economy has been led by IT and electronics companies for the past 40 years. However, in the next 40 years, the global economy may be led by healthcare and biotechnology," the Nikkei Asian Review reported Kim as saying. “It's exactly the reason why Samsung has selected the sector as its new growth engine.”

Samsung, which is best known for its electronics, was able to propel itself to one of the global leaders in biopharmaceuticals because of its extensive experience in building factories and petrochemical products, Kim said.

"We could build the plants much faster than any other company in the world," Kim told the symposium. "While the biotech industry spends an average of 50 months to build one plant, we at Samsung can do that in only 25 months.”

Last year, the company said it would spend $740 million to construct a third biologics manufacturing plant in South Korea. The 180,000-liter-capacity facility is being constructed alongside two other biologics manufacturing plants in Songdo and is expected to be completed by September 2018.