Samsung Biologics adds to BMS manufacturing partnership with new $242M antibody agreement

After inking and expanding a biosimilar production partnership with Pfizer this summer, Korea’s Samsung Biologics is boosting yet another Big Pharma manufacturing agreement.

Monday, Samsung said it struck a new deal with Bristol Myers Squibb for large-scale drug substance production on an unnamed commercial cancer antibody. The partners have already been working together on antibody manufacturing and have expanded their relationship over time, the companies said in a press release.

Under the new deal, Samsung Biologics will provide drug substance manufacturing services at its latest and largest biomanufacturing plant, known as Plant 4, in Songdo, South Korea. The contract is worth 321.26 billion Korean won (about $242 million), according to a filing

"Our relationship with Bristol Myers Squibb spans over a decade, and we are proud and excited to help bring important medicines to patients around the world," John Rim, president and CEO of Samsung Biologics said in a statement. 

Samsung Biologics has already had a busy year, tying up separate production pacts with multiple pharma giants, including Pfizer.

After inking a smaller contract in March, the company in June netted a $411 million deal to manufacture biosimilars for Pfizer. At the time, Samsung Biologics described the deal as a “long-term” arrangement.

Then, less than a month later, Pfizer added $486 million to the pair of biosimilar production agreements for Samsung’s further assistance with manufacturing.

Like the BMS deal, work for Pfizer will take place in Samsung’s Plant 4 in Incheon. Earlier this year, the company said it was starting construction on its $1.46 billion plant 5, which will become the first of four manufacturing buildings at Samsung’s Bio Campus II.

Beyond Pfizer, Samsung Biologics has made deals this year with a slate of Big Pharma players such as Eli Lilly, GSK and Roche.

Meanwhile, BMS has been busy on the manufacturing front, too. Late last month, Bristol partnered with cell therapy manufacturing specialist Cellares to use the company’s robotic Cell Shuttle platform for automated manufacturing of CAR-Ts.

Cellares will perform a proof-of-concept transfer process for the manufacture of a BMS pipeline cell therapy. BMS will evaluate the automated process with comparability data.