Samsung Looks Beyond Smartphones to Next-Gen Biologics (1)
(Bloomberg) – The Samsung brand is best known for its smartphones and wide-screen TVs. Yet behind the scenes, the conglomerate is also making a name as a contract manufacturer of complex medicines to treat diseases like cancer.
On a piece of reclaimed land along the western coast of South Korea, Samsung BioLogics Co. is building a $740 million factory that will give it the capacity to become the No. 1 producer by volume of a class of drugs called biologics, many of which are derived from mammal cells.
The Samsung group diversified into the pharmaceutical sector in 2011. Now, it’s mobilizing its expertise in semiconductor making and engineering know-how to make the way biologics are produced on behalf of Big Pharma more efficient. The market for biologic medicines, which are used for everything from cancer to arthritis, is projected to exceed $223.7 billion by 2021, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis.
Being a force in biologics is crucial to Samsung – and South Korea. Galaxy smartphones and other consumer electronics face intense competition from Apple Inc. and Chinese brands such as Huawei Technologies Co., and the chaebol is grappling with the arrest of de facto leader Jay Y. Lee in a scandal that brought down the country’s former president. Meanwhile, the broader economy needs new industries as shipbuilding and heavy manufacturing slow.
If the past 40 years of global economic growth were fueled by technology, said Kim Tae-han, chief executive officer of Samsung BioLogics, the next will be fueled by where that converges with health care.
In an interview at company headquarters in Incheon, Kim said he is preparing to ramp up production and is in negotiations for more than 15 new contracts. The Samsung board gave him the green light and $2 billion to start the business about six years ago. Yet, on the strength of demand and business performance, “I’ve already spent $3 billion!’’ Kim said. Sales totaled 107.6 billion won ($96 million) in the first quarter, a 2.1 percent increase from a year earlier, though the unit still posted a net loss.
More than 2,000 construction workers – most with experience building semiconductor facilities – are buzzing around the factory site about an hour’s drive from Seoul. It is called Edison and is the company’s third drug facility. Its five floors encompass 34 meters (112 feet), making way for custom-made vats that are so big some shoot through several floors.
Biologic drugs are grown from cells. That necessitates a more complex manufacturing process than typical pills – a mixture of chemicals – but makes biologics more effective and capable of being targeted toward certain diseases.
Building a biologic plant is similar to one for semiconductors. There are clean rooms that cannot tolerate dust or other contamination, so Edison is being built without nuts or bolts to prevent any drilling. As such, everything is welded and tilted to fit together. One day, Kim said, “contract manufacturing” could extend to helping clients build the factories.
“We know how to optimize that process,” Kim said, citing the experience in semiconductors. “We could be competitive in quality, speed and cost.”
Samsung already is a contract manufacturer for some blockbuster drugs, including for Switzerland’s Roche Holding AG and the U.S.’s Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. It will take three years for the plant to ramp up to full capacity after being completed this year and opening at the end of 2018, Kim said.
At its Incheon facilities, staff are on site 24 hours a day to ensure continuity: researchers in white smocks spend the day monitoring the production process, checking on centrifuges or poring over data on computer monitors. English is the working language and some are alums of Genentech Inc. or Amgen Inc., the U.S.-based biotechnology giants. It has 1,700 employees, and their average age is 28, the youngest in the Samsung affiliates.
Globally, the drug industry produces 4 million liters of biologic drugs a year, and that’s projected to double by 2030, Kim said. With its new plant, Samsung BioLogics is positioning itself to double its market share. Shares are up 24 percent this year to 187,000 won. That compares with a 13 percent increase in the benchmark Kospi index.
Kim’s company faces some formidable competitors, who are also expanding. Switzerland’s Lonza Group AG and Germany’s Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH have long histories in the biologics contract manufacturing business, and Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp. also entered the business.
“We are aware of expansions and further investments in mammalian cell culture capacities by Big Pharma and contract manufacturers worldwide,” Boehringer Ingelheim said in a statement. It’s investing almost 700 million euros ($767 million) to build a production facility in Vienna that will create about 500 jobs, the company said in an email.
Fujifilm is investing 14 billion yen ($123 million) to accelerate its drug-manufacturing capacity in the U.S. and U.K., it said in April. Through subsidiary Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, it’s targeting revenue of 100 billion yen for the contract development and manufacturing business by March 2024, it said in an email. Lonza declined to comment.
Kim was tasked with finding new industries for Samsung in 2007. He spent three years overseeing a team studying as many as 60 growth sectors that Samsung could veer into, including electric cars.
It took him three years to convince the group’s board it was worth the gamble to pivot into making drugs. One big supporter was Lee, who remains in police custody. While ongoing projects haven’t been affected by Lee’s detention, some long-term strategic projects were put on hold, Kim said.
One accusation against Lee is that he sought the former president’s help in restructuring Samsung affiliates and getting Samsung BioLogics listed on the Korean exchange last year. Lee and the company deny the allegations. Adding to the pressures, the country’s Financial Supervisory Service is auditing Samsung BioLogics. Kim said he was confident in the bookkeeping standards.
Samsung and other companies in the sector have benefited from the Korean government’s support of biopharmaceutical businesses. The Incheon Free Economic Zone offered Samsung BioLogics the factory land for 50 years without rent, the company said. New President Moon Jae-in railed against the chaebol during his campaign, but Samsung said in an email it expected him to boost the biopharmaceutical and health-care industries.
“The government has been pushing for this for a few decades, but we are at the very beginning,’’ said Laura Nelson Carney, a senior analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein. The government has been helpful in funding a lot of basic research, changing listing requirements to make it easier for emerging biotechnology companies to raise money in public markets and pushing for favorable technology-transfer rules, Carney said.
Samsung isn’t the only player in its home market. A slew of other companies have also been making steady headway on the international biologics drug scene – either by contract manufacturing or by developing their own biosimilars, which are generic versions of biologic drugs.
One is Incheon-based Celltrion Inc., which made waves in the pharmaceutical world by receiving a slew of international regulatory approvals for its biosimilars. For Remsima, a cheaper copy of Johnson & Johnson’s arthritis drug Remicade, it claimed 30 percent of the market share in Europe since receiving regulatory approval last year, Kim Ho-ung, head of the strategy and operations division for Celltrion Healthcare, said in an April 18 interview.
Still, Samsung’s deep pockets and ability to throw money at building its presence in a new industry remain a big advantage.
Increased pressure for Big Pharma to cut costs is one driving factor for why it might outsource to a company like Samsung BioLogics rather than make drugs in-house, Kim said.
Meanwhile, the industry is graduating from using surgical and chemical ways of treating diseases, with many of the new medicines in development of the biologic or cell-based variety. In 2015, six of the world’s 10 best-selling drugs were biologics, including Remicade and Sanofi’s Lantus for diabetes, according to researcher IMS.
Kim’s modeled his aspirations on the trajectory followed by the chips industry. His benchmark is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which entered the contract manufacturing market when no one was outsourcing and now is the largest chipset maker for iPhones.
“We want to be a global top player in whatever industry we enter,” Kim said. “By 2030, we would like to be regarded as one of the global leaders in biopharmaceuticals.”
(Updates with Tuesday’s share price. An earlier version corrected a drug name and currency conversion.)
–With assistance from Sam Kim
To contact the reporter on this story: Natasha Khan in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Joe Biden: Trump administration did not want to work on cancer initiative
Former Vice President Joe Biden took aim at President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to science and health funding on Tuesday (2 May). Biden also revealed that he tried working with the current administration on his cancer “moonshot” project but they were not interested.
Two years after his son, Beau, died of brain cancer, Biden opened up about his non-profit cancer initiative at the Fortune Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego. Biden laid out his fears regarding the significant impact that the budget cuts proposed by Trump could have on critical medical research, reports CBS News.
The former vice president said the role of government in scientific research that could lead to a cure for cancer was crucial. “You’ve got to be able to do something to give some people some hope, to have a shot,” he said.
Biden launched the White House Cancer Moonshot Taskforce in 2016, a year after losing his son. Fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton asked him to continue the initiative in the event she won the presidential election.
When she did not, Biden offered to help the Republican administration continue the fight against cancer—a fight he referred to as “the only bi-partisan thing left out there”.
According to Quartz, Biden told the San Diego crowd that “Vice President Pence was interested” but implied that Trump was not. Despite receiving no support from the White House, the US Cancer Moonshot continues its work under the funding of the National Cancer Institute. It received an initial $300m (£233m) in funding and a total of $1.8bn over seven years.
Biden confirmed Wednesday (3 May) at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills that he is now working with world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, on this initiative.
“People came to me and asked if I would continue the moonshot because it had not been picked up by the new administration,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “So, I’m doing that … in this fight, we have to be unwilling to postpone.”
Science spending cuts slammed
Biden also criticised Trump’s proposal to slash billions from science and environmental agencies and noted that even some Republicans were against the cuts, according to CBS News.
“I think our Republican colleagues have decided there are certain things that are just not negotiable, and I think science, the EPA, the idea, the idea that we’re gutting - the proposal to gut the EPA, I mean, come on, for gosh sakes! It’s just bizarre!” he said.
Biden also took a moment to praise Congress for rejecting the administration’s proposal to cut $1.2bn in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for the remainder of 2017 to pay for increased defence spending. Quartz reports that the budget - which passed the House on Wednesday - instead gave NIH an additional $2bn to its budget.
When asked on Tuesday about a possible 2020 presidential run, Biden did not dismiss the possibility, but said he is currently focused on the Biden Foundation’s Cancer Initiative. “It’s what Beau would want me to do, and it matters,” he said. “It matters.”
The global blood cancer drugs market is projected to grow at a CAGR of
10.5 % to 11.5% from 2017 to 2023
Due to the improved healthcare systems across the world, the rate of
diagnosis of blood cancers has improved significantly and it drives the
demand for the blood cancer drugs. The presence of large geriatric
population in the world is expected to provide more demand for the blood
cancer drugs as blood cancers except acute lymphocytic leukaemia and
Hodgkin’s lymphoma affect aged people to a large extent.
Chemotherapeutic drugs segment is anticipated to garner more demand and
drive the growth of the global blood cancer drugs market due to
availability of wide range of various chemotherapeutic drugs for blood
cancer. Moreover, owing to their effectiveness, the demand for
personalised cancer drugs is expected to increase significantly during
the forecast period. Increasing number of leukaemia patients is
generating more demand for blood cancer drugs. As many of the leukaemia
cases are undetected in initial stage, the emphasis is on effective
drugs for recovery. The leukaemia segment is expected to drive the
growth of the global blood cancer drugs market.
Biological drugs for cancer are attaining more demand despite the high
cost, due to their effectiveness and minimal side effects in curing or
bringing relief to the blood cancer patients. Additionally, biosimilars
of respective biological cancer drugs are expected to attain significant
demand in regions where the affordability of costly biological drugs is
an issue. Similarly, immunotherapy for blood cancer is likely to grow
significantly as an alternative for chemotherapy over the forecast
period, due to the lesser side effects and improved efficiency. These
segments are anticipated to enhance the growth of the global blood
cancer drugs market during the forecast period.
The expiry of patents on some of the major chemotherapeutic blood cancer
drugs in coming years is expected to provide opportunity for generic
manufacturers to manufacture low-cost generic versions of those and it
is expected to escalate the growth of the global blood cancer drugs
market. Huge investments in research and development of blood cancer by
major pharmaceutical companies are anticipated to further boost the
global blood cancer drugs market during the forecast period.
The higher costs of blood cancer drugs and therapies and the lack of
supportive reimbursement policies and insurance coverage for blood
cancer therapies in many regions are the major restraints for the global
blood cancer drugs market. Biosimilars of biological drugs and generics
of chemical drugs for cancer is expected to provide opportunity for
pharmaceutical companies to expand in the developing and least developed
countries, where the high costs of traditional blood cancer drugs are
unaffordable for patients, during the forecast period. Providing cost
effective blood cancer drugs to the patients will be a major challenge
for the major pharmaceutical companies, due to the high investments
required for research and development and manufacturing, during the
The report segments the global blood cancer drugs market by product and
region. On the basis of product, the market is segmented as
Rituaxan/Mabthera, Gleevac/Glivec, Revlimid, Velcade,Tasigna, Pomalyst,
Vidaza, Kyprolis, Adcetris, and others.
Key Topics Covered:
2. Executive Summary
3. Global Blood Cancer Drugs Market Overview
4. Global Blood Cancer Drugs Market Analysis, by Product 2017-2023
5. Global Blood Cancer Drugs Market Analysis, by Region 2017-2023
Floral Shirt - Oxfam Earl’s Court Rd; Douglas Sirk Boxset - Cancer Research, Whitton; Penguin Postcards - Fara Homewares, Whitton; Stripy Jumper, Octavia Popup, Twickenham; Plates - Oxfam, Twickenham; H is for Hawk - Cancer Research, Twickenham; We Go To The Gallery - Fara, Twickenham
Slaves To The Rummage - Haul One:
Striped Top and Ring - Octavia Popup, Twickenham; White Shirt and Book - Fara, Twickenham
Slaves To The Rummage - Haul Two:
Rainbow Hello Kitty - Oxfam Earl’s Court Road; Limmy Book - Cancer Research, Whitton; Three Amigos! - Octavia Popup, Twickenham; His Bloody Project - Cancer Research, Twickenham; Rather Be The Devil - Princess Alice, Twickenham; Black Widow - Fara, Twickenham
Brighton and Hove Albion FC promoted to Premier League, return after 34 years | Brighton Fc
All-American Home Care, a full service consumer-directed personal assistance program home care agency, recently partnered with Yuri Lavrynenko and FC Dynamo ROC, a boys and girls youth soccer club in Rochester, as a new club sponsor.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton is on the verge of taking his side to the Premier League.
The win against Wolves was difficult but more-or-less expected.
Pancreatic cancer project scores in research 'lightning round'
MADISON – Scientists get funded for their ideas through a marathon grant-writing process, scores of collaborators, weeks of information gathering and a final product that often tops 250 pages.
Melissa Skala’s experience was different: Two people, 250 words, in 24 hours.
Skala, a… Source: Pancreatic cancer project scores in research ‘lightning round’
The above collage represents projects where styrofoam has been used to create sculptures. As mentioned in my previous blogs I was inspired by a pop up retail shop for Richard Chai; an American fashion designer. The space is constructed out of wire cute ‘white foam that transforms the temporary space into an urban glacial cavern’. This influenced polystyrene to be my choice of material for the globular structures of cancer stem cells that was conceptualised to envelope the building.
Whilst researching other ways the material has been previously used I stumbled upon the Water Tree project by Lawrence Argent. What I liked the most about this project is the soft globular form. Tara Donovan’s ceiling sculpture inspired me to consider Polystyrene cups as a method to create a mesmerising space with a form I am trying to achieve to represent cancer stem cells. These projects have made me realise that I don’t need to consider materials to create a curved wall as the globular structures can form as a partition for the different spaces. I researched Eva Hesse’s Untitled 1970’s project which uses knotted ropes dipped in liquid latex. I like how the organic form as well as irregular web like structure provides a feeling of uneasiness. This aspect inspired me to consider latex ropes to be covered and entangled within the globular installation.
Having brought my ideas together I wanted to produce rendering that was professional, realistic and presentable. Therefore, I have been working on 3dsmax to create forms that represent my idea. I have found it relatively easy to get back to it. I had to remind myself some of the features and commands in order to produce it but YouTube tutorials have been useful. Using 3DS Max allowed me to imagine the entire volume of the space and how the globular installations will work within the space.
I have yet to work with materials and lighting which I hope to work on this week in order to be realised for the following week when I have to present.
Today is likely to be a gratifying day, but perhaps more serious than you'd planned. A longtime friend might call and want to get together. This person or another might want to discuss a possible business enterprise that's apt to be worthy of consideration. Everyone around you might seem egocentric, and you could feel that your concerns are of no interest to anyone. Don't let that upset you.
Career and business matters are likely to be very much on your mind today. Perhaps a new opportunity has come your way, or you're thinking of becoming involved in a new enterprise on your own or with a partner. This might not be a good day to make a decision, so don't rush it. Before you make any dramatic changes, think things through carefully. You may regret it otherwise.
Matters involving creativity, romance, and children could require considerable thought today. Some exciting new options may be available to you and your loved ones. You might be inclined to mull over the possibilities. You could consult others to get more opinions. For the most part, you'll want to decide on your own. In the meantime, you could keep yourself occupied by working on ongoing projects.
Matters involving the home could suddenly grow serious. This is a positive development, but new possibilities could be opening up and force you to make a decision. The value of your home could have gone up and you might consider selling it and moving. Or you could have the opportunity to work out of your home and save commuting costs. Whatever it is, you've reached a milestone. Weigh the pros and cons.
Today you might consider entering into a business partnership with a relative or neighbor. This could show promise of success, and is definitely worth serious consideration. You'll want to be sure it's right for you, so caution is recommended. You might even get around to considering the nitty-gritty of a possible agreement, but for the most part, it isn't likely that you'll be making any final decisions yet.
The value of any investment you may have made in land, including your home, could come into your thoughts today. Whatever time and energy you've put into it is likely to pay off, and this might make a difference to you when formulating plans for the future. You might spend some time working outside, which should clear your head and enable you to get your thoughts together. A female friend could join you.
A partnership of some kind, perhaps business, perhaps romantic, is likely to be on your mind today. You might want to seriously consider whether or not it has a future, and if it does, what to do next. You could spend time socializing, but you could be too preoccupied to participate much. A lot of serious decisions need to be made. The outcome is likely to be positive. Try to relax and have some fun.
A lot of serious matters are on your mind, perhaps involving plans for the future. It's likely that you'll want to stay home today and do some contemplating. Various new opportunities could be coming your way, and you won't want to let them pass you by without serious consideration. Chores around the house could prove a valuable outlet for physical energy while allowing thoughts to churn in your mind.
Contemplation is the word for today. At some point, you might receive a call from a friend wanting advice on a serious decision. Don't be surprised if you spend more time listening than advising. Goals of your own might need some thought and possibly reevaluation, as changes in your immediate environment could present new and exciting possibilities to you. Think about it.
Today much of your mental - and possibly physical - energy could be directed at career matters. You might reevaluate goals and ambitions, and consider other possibilities. The desire for more income might be the catalyst, but there's more to it than that. This is definitely a good day to think about a number of options. You might have to make a few decisions by this time next week.
The desire for personal and career advancement could cause you to consider furthering your education in some way. Someone close to you, probably a woman, could wake you up to the advantages of returning to school and getting an advanced degree. You may want to wait a little bit before deciding, but something has shifted within you. It's time for some kind of change. Be prepared.
Today you're apt to be a bit preoccupied. You might find yourself considering concepts that others think are strange and impractical. This might involve metaphysics or the occult or unusual ways of making a living - or all of the above. You might want to discuss this with others. However, you should make a decision based on your preferences without influence from those who aren't directly involved.
The Cancer soul is one that is very receptive to the things around them, especially in childhood, picking up on that familiar scent, that familiar area or even the tone of voices, knowing where the mood is about to go before many others in the room. For good, or for bad, the Cancer dreams can be retrospective, looking back to times of vulnerability as a child with an eerie, old movie quality, working through the psyche as they dream. Much of their early experiences leaves a kind of imprint on them, often making Cancer project this forward. Many say that the past does not always dictate the future, but for Cancer, this can be a difficult position to see.