Samsung Biologics Teams Up with AstraZeneca to Propel Commercial Manufacturing


Samsung Biologics and AstraZeneca announced on Monday that they have entered a long-term supply agreement, expected to be valued at approximately $330 million. Under the new deal, Samsung Biologics will offer large-scale commercial manufacturing for drug substance in its Plant 3. In addition, it will support AstraZeneca’s biologics therapeutics.

"This long-term partnership with Samsung Biologics strengthens our manufacturing capabilities, and ensures we are well-positioned to continue to deliver our exciting portfolio of new and established biologics medicines to patients with quality, speed and efficiency," said Pam Cheng, EVP Global Operations and IT, AstraZeneca.

Through this new partnership, AstraZeneca intends to expand its biologics manufacturing capabilities into the Asia Pacific region. The company also notes that this agreement will help it accelerate Korean bio-health innovation.

"We are very proud to partner with AstraZeneca, a company that uses a rich history of science-led innovation to serve patients," said Dr. Tae Han Kim, CEO of Samsung Biologics. "At Samsung Biologics, our people share this common purpose to help our clients bring innovative solutions to an array of diseases, and we look forward to delivering on our promise to aid in AstraZeneca's ongoing expansion program."

AstraZeneca has entered many partnerships as of late, including one with the University of Oxford to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. This agreement was announced back in April, and the recombinant adenovirus vaccine has been titled ChAdOx1 nCoV-19.

Specifically, researchers at the Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford are working on the potential product. AstraZeneca will be responsible for the development, as well as the worldwide manufacturing and distribution of the vaccine.

“As COVID-19 continues its grip on the world, the need for a vaccine to defeat the virus is urgent,” said Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca. “This collaboration brings together the University of Oxford’s world-class expertise in vaccinology and AstraZeneca’s global development, manufacturing and distribution capabilities. Our hope is that, by joining forces, we can accelerate the globalization of a vaccine to combat the virus and protect people from the deadliest pandemic in a generation.”

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 uses a vector based on a version of the common cold (adenovirus). It contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, with a goal of priming the immune system to attack COVID-19 if it eventually infects the body. The recombinant adenovirus vector (ChAdOx1) was selected to generate an immune response from a single dose. It is not replicating, meaning it cannot cause an infection in those who receive the vaccine.

“This collaboration between Oxford University and AstraZeneca is a vital step that could help rapidly advance the manufacture of a coronavirus vaccine,” said Alok Sharma, UK Business Secretary. “It will also ensure that, should the vaccine being developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute work, it will be available as early as possible, helping to protect thousands of lives from this disease.”

The potential product has already entered Phase I clinical trials to study its safety and efficacy in healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55. Specifically, the trial was conducted across five trial centers in Southern England.

“Our partnership with AstraZeneca will be a major force in the struggle against pandemics for many years to come,” said Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. “We believe that together we will be in a strong position to start immunizing against coronavirus once we have an effective approved vaccine. Sadly, the risk of new pandemics will always be with us and the new research center will enhance the world’s preparedness and our speed of reaction the next time we face such a challenge.”

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