Samsung Group is pulling out all the stops to turn bioengineering into its future growth engine.
The top Korean conglomerate has made all its employees watch self-made documentary program titled “The Future with Biotech” twice a week until next week. In the first-week program, the employees were walked through the bioengineering industry and Samsung Bioepis’ lab activities in the field of biosimilars. In the second week, they will be briefed on the performance of biomedicine maker Samsung BioLogics that produces biologics.
The education is to direct Samsung employees’ interest and attention in the field the conglomerate is investing heavily as its future mainstay area and bolster confidence within to push further for the goal to become a global leader in the burgeoning sector.
“Foreign pharmaceutical companies require right long years for drug discovery and development on average, but Samsung shortened the development time to four years. As the global industry is shifting from synthetic drugs to biologics, the related market is exceeding the semiconductor market in size,” said the group which is familiar as a household maker of semiconductor, mobile devices, and home electronics.
Samsung BioLogics, the manufacturer of biologic drugs, has revved up its activity as the latecomer gained confidence from achieving economies of scale. Its first plant that entered commissioning in July 2013 is now in full operation upon gaining manufacturing approval from the U.S. drug authority in November last year. The second plant where construction began in September 2013 with annual production capacity of 150,000 liters began commissioning last February. When its third plant with annual production capacity of 180,000 liters is completed in 2018, Samsung’s total production capacity will reach 360,000 liters, larger than top global pharmaceutical companies that are more than 30 to 40 years old. Samsung BioLogics is scheduled to go public in Korea in November.
Samsung is also speeding up its investment in promising biotech startups overseas Samsung Ventures and other investors injected $8 million into Glooko, a U.S. maker of the platform to manage glucose levels on smartphone apps on September 13. Samsung Ventures’ joint investment into the startup reached $7 million in January 2014 and $16.5 million in March 2015.
Glooko founded in 2010 was recently merged with Sweden-based Diasend to expand its business. The diabetes diagnostic platform developed by Glooko and Diasend is used at 4,000 diagnostic centers in 23 countries.
By Lee Seung-hoon
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