UCB ups the ante with CDMO Samsung Biologics, signing $288M deal

UCB of Belgium and CDMO Samsung Biologics of South Korea have expanded their seven-year partnership with a new drug substance manufacturing deal worth 382 billion Korean won ($288 million).

Among the drugs Samsung will manufacture for UCB is an anti-Tau candidate to treat progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), which is in early-stage testing.

Over the last 11 months, UCB has gained FDA approvals for three biologics—Bimzelx for plaque psoriasis, and Zilbrysq and Rystiggo, both for myasthenia gravis.

The new deal, which is the third between the companies, builds on a $42 million contract they signed in 2017 and runs through the end of 2030.

Samsung Biologics boasts that it has the largest capacity at a single site than any drug manufacturer in the world. When the fifth plant at the complex is completed in 2025, Samsung will have 784,000 liters of capacity.

Last year the company signed two biosimilar manufacturing deals with Pfizer for close to $1.8 billion and another with Novartis for $391 million. With the CDMO industry struggling in 2023, Samsung continued its growth, with revenue coming in at $2.8 billion. While it was an increase of 19% from 2022, it didn’t measure up to the 71% revenue increase from 2022 when the company was busy cranking out COVID products.

With new approvals in hand and a plan to pile on several indications for Bimzelx, UCB expects its revenue to grow from 5.25 billion euros ($5.7 billion) in 2023 to a range of 5.5 and 5.7 billion euros ($6.0 to $6.2 billion) this year.