JPM23: Samsung plans to kick off antibody-drug conjugate manufacturing in early 2024

A major area of expansion for manufacturer Samsung Biologics’ will be antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), CEO John Rim said on Wednesday during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

At Samsung’s sprawling complex—which includes four progressively larger plants—in Incheon, Korea, ADC manufacturing will take place in a facility within Plant 4 and is scheduled to begin in early 2024.

“Probably the quickest area of growth for us is ADC,” Rim said at JPM. “Our current clients are producing (monoclonal antibodies) which then get sent to a different CDMO for the linkage and conjugation components. So, we’re trying to vertically integrate.”

The timing is right as the market for ADCs is growing rapidly, from $3.5 billion in 2020 to an estimated $13.1 billion in 2030, according to Strategic Market Research.

Following ADCs, the next rung of expansion for Samsung will be in cell and gene therapy, though with less urgency as it remains more regionalized in the United States, Samsung’s global sales chief James Park, told BioProcess International, last month.

“On the cell and gene therapy side, we’re doing the process development side for early stage,” Rim said at JPM. “We don’t have commercial yet but we anticipate to look at that in more earnest for expansion.”

Inevitably, when Samsung talks expansion, it’s about its massive facilities. When Plant 4 is completed, Samsung’s Bio Campus 1 will have 604,000 liters of annual capacity, which the company claims is the most at one site in the world.

Meanwhile, the company expects construction to begin soon at the first of four plants in Bio Campus 2, a complex set to replicate its predecessor. Land has been procured nearby, equal to the size of “50 soccer fields,” Rim said.