[DARMSTADT, GERMANY] Merck, announced on November 1, the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Samsung BioLogics for a strategic alliance on biopharmaceutical manufacturing and biologics process development.
The alliance would accelerate process development and clinical material production at small biotech start-ups focusing on novel drug development for which Samsung BioLogics acts as a contract manufacturer. Under the agreement, Merck would provide process development and support technical training, in addition to its Mobius® single-use systems to Samsung BioLogics.
The new MoU is an extension of a MoU signed in 2014 that encompasses a long-term supply agreement where Merck would provide raw materials for biopharmaceutical manufacturing.
"Our collaboration with Samsung continues to strengthen with this agreement," said Udit Batra, Member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. "Merck's process development expertise and Mobius®, the wide single-use bioprocessing portfolio, will allow innovations to reach patients faster."
Merck has been the key solution provider for Samsung BioLogics' 30KL facility and 152KL facility in Korea, and has trained Samsung BioLogics team on building a robust biologics development process.
"This alliance will create synergy and maximize our technology potential," said Dr. Tae-Han Kim, President and CEO of Samsung BioLogics.
Merck's portfolio of Mobius® single-use systems delivers greater flexibility and continuity for scale-up, reducing the need to retrain operators. These are some of the multiple reasons that companies such as Samsung BioLogics have become early adopters of Merck's technologies.
At Merck's M Lab™ Collaboration Centers, customers work with the company's scientists and engineers in a shared exploratory environment to solve customers' toughest biomanufacturing challenges and help accelerate development of new therapies. Merck has nine M Lab™ Collaboration Centers around the world, including one in the U.S. and one in Korea.
Merck is a premier supplier of process development and clinical-stage manufacturing solutions, materials and services needed to produce biopharmaceutical drugs. The company is committed to delivering superior bioreactor technology to manufacturers, several of which are already collaborating with the company in that space in North America, Europe and Asia.
In the growing biopharmaceutical market, manufacturers are moving toward end-to-end solutions — from process development and scale-up through to manufacturing for pre-clinical, clinical and commercial supply — as they seek to cut costs while increasing quality and efficiency. At the same time, single-use, disposable equipment and systems have increased in popularity because they offer many advantages over conventional stainless steel systems, such as improved batch success rates, less cross-contamination risk, decreased water and waste water requirements, shortened project duration and reduced project costs.