Process Automation and Analytics

Korean Industry Sets Sights on Biotech: How Process Analytics goes Gangnam-Style

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“We can offer high quality at competitive prices, since we save investment costs with one-off construction and operational technologies,” explains James Yoon, Vice-president of Samsung Biologics, the success strategy of South Koreans. “If our customers from the pharmaceutical industry outsource their production to us, we offer them complete service at favourable basic conditions.”

From product development to active component manufacturing: This should not only be cost-saving — and thus finally also help reduce the active ingredient prices — but also allow pharmaceutical companies the greatest possible flexibility, explains Chungwoo Lee, Samsung Biologics Vice President for the Facility Technology Team.

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Biologicals on the Rise

The Koreans not only occupy an international growth market — also in the “land of morning calm”, pharmaceutical agents, cosmetics and life science products are booming. Particular attention is on Biologics, biotechnologically manufactured medicines (frequently from mammalian stem cells): By 2021, the global market should yield over 223.7 billion dollars to market analysts as a result and an average of 9.1 % per annum.

For comparison: Conventional medications based on chemical ingredient syntheses simply grow with around 2.6 %. In the future, it is hoped that at pharmaceutical companies, the biotechnology could also develop quite new ingredients against hitherto “incurable” diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson or cancer.

Electronics-Giant With Big Plans for Pharma

Until then, Samsung aims to become the biopharmaceutical world leader with the construction of a third production site in Songdo, within the Incheon Free-Economic-Zone. With 740 million dollars, the highly modern production called for some costs.

When production starts in 2018 at the company’s biggest site so far, Samsung’s operating bio-reactor capacity reaches a whopping 362,000 litres — significantly more than the current market leaders. At the moment, Samsung operates two production plants in Incheon with a combined capacity of 182000 liters in bioreactors for the cultivation of mammalian stem cells for pre-clinical production.