How can a business be successful in a global pandemic? The COVID-19 virus caused problems to all industries, forcing closures, layoffs, and enormous shifts in the supply chain around the world.

In the midst of this turmoil, it felt impossible for a business to reach success and expand, yet many managed to do better than ever before. In the pharmaceutical industry, the overwhelming demand for products made it difficult to keep up for businesses, researchers, and developers. Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Samsung Biologics provided the stability and flexibility to pharmaceutical companies so that they could better serve their patients. 

After an incredible third quarter, followed by two other successful quarters in 2021, it’s time to examine what made this CDMO successful. The challenges presented by COVID-19 required the company to re-focus its attempts and overcome many hurdles.

CEO John Rim said, “Samsung Biologics does not just develop and manufacture products, but produces life-saving solutions. We are driven for life. With a steadfast vision and unrelenting drive to achieve a better life for all, we embrace responsibility, expertise, and pride in our work, and will continue on our noble mission to enable improved accessibility of biomedicines and consequently the quality of life for people around the globe.”

Keeping Up With Technology, Demand, and Partnerships

Samsung Biologics continued to add new technology, meet demands, and satisfy its pharmaceutical partners who relied on the CDMO to handle manufacturing and distribution.

To help these partners, the company introduced its proprietary development platform, S-CellerateTM, at the BioProcess International Conference to offer clients and partners an integrated and seamless therapy and pharmaceutical development solution resulting in a more efficient and timely delivery. The technology presented at the BioProcess International Conference showcased a drug development service platform that can expedite the process involved in the development and commercialization of monoclonal antibodies. S-Cellerate offers an accelerated CDO timeline to an Investigational New Drug (IND) application in just nine months, and a plan for commercialization so that a product can reach the Biologics License Applications (BLA).

Before the pandemic even started, Samsung Biologics had advanced its technology to better serve their clients. The company introduced the “Live Virtual Tour” technology that allowed the company to provide virtual tours while maintaining high-definition pictures and stable connections. These virtual tours allowed the drug manufacturing facilities to remain sterile and still allowed inspectors to see what they needed to see to approve the process.

James Choi, Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Marketing Officer at Samsung Biologics, said, “One of the most important businesses for Samsung Biologics is a client firm’s inspection of our company’s factory. This is because the client firm has to check whether our quality process and manufacturing capacity meet their requirements. Inspections are important also for regulatory agencies, but COVID-19 made it difficult to do it.”

Multiple new partners sought to work with Samsung Biologics in the last nine months of 2021. These partners include Enzolytics, Kineta, KAHR, and Moderna. Moderna selected Samsung Biologics to provide CDMO services for their effective COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273. With the demand for mRNA services at an all-time high, Samsung Biologics prepared its facilities to handle mRNA treatments and vaccines.

Focus on ESG and Quality of Products and Services

The push to expand and innovate should never overshadow top quality and caring for those that perform the day-to-day duties within the company. Director of Cell Line Development, CDO R&D at Samsung Biologics  Seahee Kim said, “We offer a fully integrated solution to take our clients through the complete drug development lifecycle and into commercial manufacturing. With extensive expertise and streamlined project management, we ensure flexibility and full scalability to enable the drugs to reach the market successfully within an expedited timeline. Our innovative technology and equipment also allow for more efficient screening and optimization, which saves us significant time at each step of the process.”

It’s not all about business for Samsung Biologics. The company knows that any focus on the future must involve taking care of the environment, the communities, and providing governance. It released its first ESG annual report in 2021 as well. “Samsung Biologics has a mission  to create a better world with high-quality biopharmaceuticals by creating a global logistics supply chain and expanded social responsibilities as a global company, while building a basis for sustainability,” said CEO John Rim in the report.

By Manali