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Samsung Biologics plant in Incheon/Courtesy of Samsung Biologics

Two Korean companies enter into agreement for new drug

Samsung Biologics, South Korea’s first-tier biosimilar company, teams up with STCube to develop and manufacture an anti-cancer drug candidate, dubbed STT-003 antibody.

The Incheon-based outfit announced on March 3 that under the two-way agreement, it will offer a range of services to STCube, including cell line development and manufacturing of non-clinical/clinical materials.

Headquartered in Seoul, STCube is an innovative biopharmaceutical company, which works on cancer therapies on the back of its cutting-edge technology.

The two outfits made an agile move as it took just a pair of weeks for them to complete the contract after starting talks.

STT-003 antibody has been developed by STCube. It is expected to help treat cancer more efficiently than conventional therapies, according to Samsung.

Leading US medical institutions plan to carry out clinical trials, the subsidiary of Samsung Group said.

We have signed a contract with Samsung Biologics, a global CMO, CDO, and CRO company, to produce first-in-class STT-003 antibody, laying the foundation for stable implementation of global clinical trials,” STCube chief Jung Hyun-jin said.

So far, several globally recognized immunologists have agreed to serve on the scientific advisory board for phase I clinical studies of STT-003 antibody, including the head of clinical research at a world-leading clinical institution for cancer treatment.”

Initially, Samsung BioLogics started as a contract manufacturing organization (CMO), which serves other companies on a contract basis to churn out large quantities of drug candidates or drugs.

But Samsung has tried to beef up its capacity as a contract development organization (CDO), which takes charge of developing drugs, filing its applications to health authorities, and starting their clinical tests.

The entity is also called a contract research organization (CRO) as it provides research services outsourced on a contract basis.

We are proud to contribute to the development of this exciting novel target anti-cancer drug candidate through our continued partnership,” Samsung Biologics CEO Kim Tae-han said.

As a world-leading CMO, CDO, and CRO partner, we will continue to offer faster and better service to our clients for maximum client satisfaction through Samsung’s competitive advantages: faster timeline, excellent quality, and outstanding capability.”

Samsung Group’s major affiliate has been Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of memory chips and smartphones.

However, watchers expect that Samsung BioLogics has a shot at becoming another iconic affiliate of the country’s largest business conglomerate.

“The business model of Samsung BioLogics is similar to that of Samsung Electronics. The former would try to keep increasing both its top lines and bottom lines. The two players might stage an interesting competition in the long run,” a Seoul analyst said.

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