While not all national governments have excelled at rolling out vaccines for COVID-19 effectively around the globe, the high rate of production has meant that there are generally plenty of vaccines available for governments and localities organized enough to distribute them properly.
As a result, we’ve been witnessing a vaccine distribution on a scale that’s never been seen in the history of global pandemics, and it’s saving lives and reducing case counts all over the world.
So how do the companies that developed the vaccines produce so many of them so quickly? The short answer is that they don’t— at least, not on their own. The mass production of COVID-19 vaccines has depended on a classification of companies known as CDMOs, or contract development and manufacturing organizations. While the general public may not know much about how these companies operate or their role in the development of pharmaceuticals, they’ve been instrumental not only in the fight against COVID-19 but in the distribution of lifesaving drugs of all kinds.
CDMOs work closely with biotech firms and pharmaceutical companies of all kinds, helping augment their capabilities when it comes to research & development and mass production of treatments. They also offer services that include biosafety testing, packaging, distribution, and more.
CDMOs and their clients work in close partnership for every project, and the result is that both companies— and especially, patients— benefit.
While there are hundreds of CDMOs scattered all over the globe, there are some that have risen to the top due to their work battling the pandemic and beyond. One of the leading names in this group is Samsung Biologics, who have become one of the fastest growing names in biopharmaceuticals.
Get to Know Samsung Biologics
When it comes to measuring Samsung Biologics’ success in recent years— including during 2020— it can be difficult to know where to start. Let’s start with the numbers.
At the close of 2020, Samsung Biologics had earned an increase in revenue of 66%, a record high, as well as a record-high sales mark in the 4th quarter of that year. These earnings will help fund further reach, an expanded portfolio, and greater manufacturing capabilities.
Those manufacturing capabilities will be most dramatically augmented upon completion of Samsung Biologics’ 4th plant, scheduled to become operational in 2023. At that point, this new plant will have the largest manufacturing capacity for a single site in the world.
But before future plans, Samsung Biologics has been in the news already for their work in helping combat COVID-19. They partnered with multiple companies, including vaccine developer AstraZeneca, with whom they entered into a $3330 million agreement to commercially manufacture drug substances at a massive scale for global distribution.
Samsung Biologics CEO John Rim recently spoke on the company’s vision for the future. “With a steadfast vision and unrelenting drive to achieve better life for all, we embrace responsibility, expertise, and pride in our work, and will continue on our noble mission to enable improved accessibility of biomedicines and consequently the quality of life for people around the globe.”
Other areas of focus for Samsung Biologics in the coming years include improved communications and the automation of more processes— which will reportedly be evident upon completion of the 2023 manufacturing plant. They also vow to improve project management, speed up delivery times, and never lose focus on the most important metric of success— successful patient outcomes.