The Korea Herald


Samsung Biologics’ new CEO lays out vision for next decade

By Lim Jeong-yeo

Published : Jan. 13, 2021 - 23:51

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Samsung Biologics CEO John Rim (Samsung Biologics) Samsung Biologics CEO John Rim (Samsung Biologics)
Samsung Biologics’ newly appointed CEO John Rim presented a multidimensional vision for the company’s next 10 years at the virtual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference 2021 on Wednesday.

Key takeaways from Rim’s presentation involved more overseas facilities, early contract lock-ins for its fourth production base, which will complete construction in 2023, and capacity for new modalities such as vaccine and cell-gene therapies.

“Our next decade will be marked by increased business expansion and portfolio diversification. While continuing to achieve best-in-class CDMO (contract manufacturing and development organization) services and championing the biosimilar business, we will also lay the groundwork for novel drug development, to ultimately become a full-service biopharmaceutical company,” Rim said at the conference, held virtually this year due to COVID-19.

Samsung Biologics is currently building a second bio campus bigger than 330,000 square meters in Songdo, Incheon, where the company headquarters is located. Having established its first overseas contract development research center in San Francisco last year, Samsung Biologics is drumming up to expand to Boston in the US, as well as Europe and China. It is also mulling more contract manufacturing facilities located closer to overseas clients.

Rim noted that Samsung Biologics is studying future modalities such as vaccines and cell-gene therapies for product diversification from the mAb/fusion protein manufacturing the company is currently proficient in.

Samsung Biologics’ drive for growth is well rooted in its achievements in 2020, when it broke its own record by signing over $1.7 billion in contract manufacturing contracts.

Rim announced the company’s primary focus for 2021 will be to accelerate Plant 4 construction to meet global demand, and secure early contract lock-ins for the aforementioned “Super Plant.” All of Samsung Biologics’ plants, with a combined capacity of 364,000 liters in output in a single generation, are expected to be at near-full utilization in 2021.

“The strategic investments and portfolio diversification outlined today signify the momentum in our business, as well as lay the foundation for the long-term growth opportunity ahead of us,” Rim said. “We will look beyond the next decade and evolve as the global top-tier biopharmaceutical company by securing future growth engines with continued investment and expansion in capacity, portfolio, and global footprint.”

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is the year’s biggest global investing event for biologics companies. Some 9,000 investors and 450 bio companies partake each year. The 39th event in 2021 is being held virtually, due to COVID-19, from Monday to Thursday.

Samsung Biologics presented in the conference’s main track reserved for those specially invited by organizers for the fifth consecutive year. It was the only Korean firm to present there this year, with the absence of Celltrion.

Rim, formerly executive vice president of Samsung Biologics since 2018, is a Korean American who has experience working for global bio companies Yamanouchi, Genentech and Roche. He has been attending the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference since decades ago when it was the Hambrecht & Quist event. Last year, Rim presented alongside then-CEO Kim Tae-han.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (