During News Endpoints’ When you were in San Diego for # BIO22, it was hard to miss all the Samsung Biologics signs glued along the highway to the airport, decorating almost every pillar with lamps. However, advertising is not the only place where Samsung wants to spend.
Last month, South Korea’s Samsung Group reportedly increased its spending by more than 30 percent to KRW 450 trillion, or about $ 360 billion, to invest in several business lines, including electronics and biotechnology, among others. Samsung Biologics CEO John Rome spoke with Endpoints at # BIO22 to discuss how this investment will affect the biotech weapons of one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates.
Rim said a significant portion of that money would be invested in biotechnology, but a firm figure was not given to Endpoints. Rim said the company is building a platform that will be completed around October, and it will be fully online next year based on the investment.
The company is also in the process of purchasing additional land called Bio Campus Two, which will be adjacent to their current 60-acre campus in Songdo, South Korea. Rim said their current campus is now fully occupied and needs to be expanded. This new campus is planned to be staffed over the next 10 years and to be 30% larger, Rim said. According to regulatory documentation, the company will spend about 426 billion KRW, or 347 million dollars, to acquire land for the new 80-acre campus.
While Samsung Biologics is building another plant in Songdo, dubbed the $ 2 billion “super plant,” Rim said the investment will build two more plants to produce a total of six.
Rim did not share any details about the size or cost of the proposed installations, but said the idea was to have facilities similar in size to what they have now. Rim said they are facing very strong customer demand and the company will look for the right moment for an official announcement of their development. The company will also seek to invest in additional facilities related to CDO, gene therapy and mRNA production.
Rim said the company will seek not only large-scale production, but also open innovation and multimodal products.
“The Samsung Group said that biotechnology will be the second branch of growth after Samsung Electronics. So there is a huge amount of focus and attention around this area. And Korea is focused on biotechnology because they see it as an ever-evolving industry, “Rome said.
As to why the Samsung Group sees this as a greater investment opportunity, Rim presented several factors, such as improved technology, an aging population and a steady increase in GDP over time.
However, this investment comes at a time when other South Korean conglomerates are also shifting their weight in biotech production. In May, the Lotte Group acquired a drug manufacturing facility from Bristol Myers Squibb in Syracuse, New York.
Rim said the ongoing competition from other conglomerates is a good thing, as it speaks to Korea’s rapidly growing interest in biotechnology. As for future acquisitions in the United States, Rim said that until nothing is confirmed, the company will monitor future acquisition goals.
This injection ultimately directs Samsung Biologics to a major construction wave, with deep investments in manufacturing and other biotechnology operations.