- Samsung Biologics has reached a $ 331 million manufacturing deal with AstraZeneca, as the UK drug maker ramps up pharmaceutical business in the Asia region.
- The agreement covers the large-scale commercial manufacture of drug substances at Samsung’s Plant 3 as well as pharmaceuticals used to make biological drugs. The value of the deal could potentially be raised to $ 546 million, the South Korean company said in a statement.
- AstraZeneca already derives a significant portion of its global revenue from Asia, particularly China. The company has invested even more resources in the region in response, tapping into the search for future drugs and now strengthening its supply capacity there.
After resisting competition for once best-selling products such as Crestor and Nexium, AstraZeneca has set its sights on a new batch of drugs and a group of markets with growth potential. Investors have rewarded the moves: The company’s shares have climbed around 50% since the start of 2019.
Asia is a big part of AstraZeneca’s plan for the future, with China proving to be a particularly larger market. Last year, sales in China jumped 29% to $ 4.9 billion and accounted for more than a fifth of the company’s product revenue.
To build on its success in China, AstraZeneca last year announced plans to open a global research and development center in Shanghai and double research positions to 1,000, with the aim of developing drugs for diseases particularly prevalent in the country and to collaborate with Chinese startups. He also licensed three China-based biotechnology oncology projects and set up an investment fund with a Chinese bank.
These initiatives follow renewed interest from drug makers in China, thanks to government reforms that have lowered some significant barriers for foreign companies to obtain clearances for their drugs in the second largest pharmaceutical market in the country. world.
AstraZeneca continues its momentum by aligning with Samsung Biologics, a logical partner to help expand manufacturing in Asia. The Incheon, South Korea-based company has invested heavily in organics, including a $ 2 billion effort announced in August that contemplates a fourth plant dubbed “Super Plant.”
The company claims it has the highest capacity at a single site, the fastest throughput and a “flawless regulatory approval record.” In the first half of this year, orders topped 1.8 trillion Korean won ($ 1.5 billion), more than double the turnover of last year, Samsung Biologics said in August. .