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Samsung Biologics delivers Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody treatment

Plant 3 (Samsung Biologics)
Plant 3 (Samsung Biologics)
Samsung Biologics said Tuesday that it had successfully delivered the first batch of Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody treatment, just five months after the two forged a contract manufacturing deal.

“We are very pleased to deliver this product to our client Lilly in record breaking speed to aid in the war against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Kim Tae-han, CEO of Samsung Biologics.

“Thanks to Lilly’s ongoing scientific efforts, patients suffering from this devastating disease are gaining new hope. Samsung Biologics is proud to be Lilly’s CDMO partner and will continue to work relentlessly and collaboratively with them to bring COVID-19 treatments to patients who need them the most, wherever they are.”

Samsung declined to comment on the size of the delivery, citing business confidentiality.

Samsung Biologics, located in Songdo, Incheon, in South Korea, is a biologics arm of Korea’s biggest conglomerate Samsung Group.

As a contract developing, manufacturing and researching company, Samsung Biologics works with multinational biopharmas in manufacturing drug samples and commercial batches.

With Eli Lilly, Samsung Biologics first signed preliminary agreements to manufacture the COVID-19 antibody treatment on May 22. Since then, it took the company only five months to deliver the first batch of good manufacturing practice-abiding drug products.

Eli Lilly’s neutralizing antibody bamlanivimab received FDA emergency use authorization for COVID-19 on Nov. 9. The treatment is being sold as the first-ever COVID-19 antibody treatment globally, at an industry-rumored rate of $1,250 a shot.

“Neutralizing antibodies are proving to be a potentially important tool in the fight against COVID-19, and the biopharmaceutical industry is collaborating quickly and effectively to increase the global manufacturing supply,” said David A. Ricks, Eli Lilly’s chairman and CEO.

“This agreement with Samsung supplements Lilly’s own internal manufacturing capacity and greatly expands our ability to deliver Lilly antibody therapies to patients around the world.”

The deal has promised Samsung Biologics a contract fee of $150 million, with possibility of it growing up to $222 million should Samsung Biologics fulfill certain specifications in the contract.

The exact period of the contract between Samsung Biologics and Eli Lilly is to remain confidential up to Dec. 31, 2023.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)
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