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(LEAD) Samsung Biologics to spend 1.7 tln won for new plant

All News 10:42 August 11, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info throughout, photo)
By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Biologics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea's largest conglomerate Samsung Group, said Tuesday that it will build a fourth plant in the country to meet rising orders.

The 1.7 trillion-won (US$1.4 billion) plant, in Songdo, west of Incheon, will have a bioreactor capacity of 256,000 liters, the company said in a regulatory filing.

This undated photo, provided by Samsung Biologics, shows one of its three plants in Songdo, west of Incheon, South Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Samsung Biologics said the planned factory, the largest of the four, is aimed at strengthening the company's competitiveness, following major deals.

"There will be no problem in securing investment cash, as the company's recent credit rating is high and the debt ratio is low," CEO Kim Tae-han said in an online press conference.

With the fourth plant, Samsung Biologics will secure a combined bioreactor capacity of 620,000 liters, making it the largest contract manufacturing organization (CMO) bio firm in the world.

Kim said Samsung Biologics will be able to have market share of more than 30 percent in the global bio CMO market.

The company said it will hire some 6,400 people to build the fourth plant, set for completion in August 2023, with an additional 1,800 employees for pipelines.

The company has inked a combined 1.8 trillion won worth of deals to manufacture products for major global pharmaceutical giants during the first half of this year.

Among the lineup is a tie-up deal with multinational drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc. (GSK) to manufacture a GSK biosimilar product.

Under the CMO agreement, Samsung Biologics will commercially produce GSK's lupus treatment, Benlysta, starting in 2022. The eight-year contract is valued at more than $231 million.

Shares of Samsung Biologics were trading at 810,000 won on the Seoul bourse, up 5.06 percent from a day earlier, as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. The plan was announced before the market opened.

Kim Tae-han, CEO of Samsung Biologics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea's largest conglomerate Samsung Group, talks during an online press conference on Aug. 11, 2020. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

khj@yna.co.kr
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