Samsung Biologics and Eli Lilly Announce COVID-19 Treatment Production Agreement

Experiencing a major year for growth, Samsung Biologics recently announced yet another strategic agreement with global healthcare leader Eli Lilly. The long-term manufacturing partnership focuses on increasing the supply of Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody therapies for global accessibility. The announcement also included news of FDA authorization for the new Lilly antibody treatment in Emergency Use, for high-risk populations diagnosed with COVID-19.

Eli Lilly is an Indianapolis-based company that is developing treatments to neutralize the effects of sars-cov-2 virus. This major move is expected to be a huge help for patients struggling with COVID-19. According to Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO David A. Ricks:

“Neutralizing antibodies are proving to be a potentially important tool in the fight against COVID-19, and the biopharmaceutical industry is collaborating quickly and effectively to increase the global manufacturing supply. This agreement with Samsung supplements Lilly’s own internal manufacturing capacity and greatly expands our ability to deliver Lilly antibody therapies to patients around the world.”

The partnership was first formed in May of 2020 to help address the increased demand of COVID-19 treatments. Due to Samsung Biologics’ scale and speed, the company was able to manufacture and deliver an initial supply of raw materials within five months of the contract signing, even reducing the timeline for tech transfer to less than three months. Samsung Biologics CEO Dr. Tae Han Kim noted:

“We are very pleased to deliver this product to our client Lilly at record-breaking speed to aid in the war against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to Lilly’s ongoing scientific efforts, patients suffering from this devastating disease are gaining new hope. Samsung Biologics is proud to be Lilly’s CDMO partner and will continue to work relentlessly and collaboratively with them to bring COVID-19 treatments to patients who need them the most, wherever they are.”

The antibody treatment developed by Eli Lilly received EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) by the FDA at the beginning of November. Through clinical trials, Lilly’s drug showed it reduced hospitalization for high-risk COVID-19 patients. The drug was approved by the FDA for those 65 and over, and 12 and up who have underlying health conditions and are at risk of developing serious COVID-19 complications.

Lilly’s goal is to manufacture up to one million doses by the end of 2020 to use globally. The company expects to have a production increase for an even larger supply within the first quarter of 2021. The new treatment for at-risk populations comes as a relief after many US states, including Indiana, were hit with record-high numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Samsung Biologics offers the largest single-site capacity and fastest throughput as a full-service biopharmaceuticals manufacturer. The award-winning CDMO partner offers development, manufacturing and lab testing as a fully integrated facility to help companies with the entire lifecycle of the products they create. Samsung Biologics recently broke ground for a fourth plant that will nearly double the company’s production output capabilities.