Samsung Biologics and AstraZeneca are broadening the scope of their manufacturing partnership—now valued at $380 million—to include COVID and cancer therapies.
The two companies have agreed to expand the scope of the long-term biologics manufacturing agreement that they first inked in September 2020 and valued at $331 million at that time. Under the expanded agreement, Samsung is helping with production of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 long-acting antibody (LAAB) combination, AZD7442. Next year, the company will start to manufacture an undisclosed cancer therapy.
AstraZeneca is targeting AZD7442 to provide additional protection for people at a higher risk of having an inadequate response to a COVID-19 vaccine, which includes the immunocompromised, patients on dialysis, cancer patients and those on medications following an organ transplant.
AstraZeneca first tapped Samsung Biologics to the supply pact to produce bulk drug substance and “drug product to support” the company’s biologics therapeutics at the Korean CMO’s Plant 3 facility in Incheon, South Korea.
“We are excited about expanding our work together into cancer immunotherapy and about laying the foundation for continued growth of our collaboration in the years ahead,” Pam Cheng, an executive vice president for AstraZeneca, said in a statement.
Like many other CMOs, Samsung Biologics has been on an expansion tear during the course of the pandemic, and expects to open its $2 billion “super-plant” next year. The facility is touted as one of the largest in the world with 256 million square feet of floor space and 256,000 liters of capacity, which nearly doubles Samsung Biologics’ overall capacity to 620,000 liters.