Throughout the pandemic, leading CDMO Samsung Biologics continued to succeed, despite the difficulties presented by the global economic shutdown.
Biopharma manufacturing means the development and distribution of biopharmaceutical products used to treat diseases, chronic conditions, and complex injuries in medical patients. Samsung Biologics, as a CDMO, partners with many leading companies to create and distribute existing formulas, which allows these companies to continue to develop new formulas and treatments without getting tangled up in maintaining the production intricacies.
Biopharma manufacturing requires a continuous focus on progress, expansion, and fulfillment of specific manufacturing requirements. CDMOs must keep improving their efficiency, effectiveness, and adding to their list of technologies used during the production process. Overall, Samsung Biologics has focused on all of these things throughout the years. In the first half of 2021 alone, the company added more new technologies, expanded their services, and maintained quality products.
High-quality production when it comes to biopharma manufacturing is necessary to create quality COVID-19 vaccines and other treatments and therapies, and Samsung Biologics has played a vital role in keeping its many pharmaceutical partners on track with CDMO services.
Now more than ever, the ability to automate processes and interact with colleagues digitally has become vitally important to survival. Thanks to the digitization of their facilities, Samsung Biologics was able to accomplish many tasks despite the logistical problems presented by the global pandemic.
In January 2020, the company introduced the “Live Virtual Tour” technology that allowed the company to provide virtual tours while maintaining high-definition pictures and stable connections. These virtual tours allowed the drug manufacturing facilities to remain sterile and still while allowing inspectors to see what they needed to see to approve the process.
James Choi, Senior VP and Chief Information and Marketing Officer at Samsung Biologics, said, “One of the most important businesses for Samsung Biologics is a client firm’s inspection of our company’s factory. This is because the client firm has to check whether our quality process and manufacturing capacity meet their requirements. Inspections are important also for regulatory agencies, but COVID-19 made it difficult to do it.”
Furthermore, digitization brings high quality to biopharma manufacturing. Work efficiency is enhanced, information isn’t fragmented, and the development process itself is optimized. Digitization creates a better customer experience for biopharmaceutical companies and a better treatment for patients.
A New Plant
One of the most significant announcements from Samsung Biologics came when they made public their development of a fourth biomanufacturing plant, which will become the largest capacity, single-site manufacturing plant in the world upon completion. The facility will also include state-of-the-art innovation and technology to enhance and improve processes. The company has already introduced some of this technology in its current facilities to leverage digitalization to optimize the client experience.
“In automating our facilities, we utilize a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) at the beginning of each batch production to ensure that the materials are dispensed correctly and manual entry is minimized to reduce the risk of operator errors,” said James Choi. “Such automation not only improves data integrity but also enables the collection of data for broader analysis and optimization of our manufacturing processes.”
“We are probably the first company to receive FDA inspection using virtual tour technology,” said Choi. “The virtual inspection was possible because the product was related to COVID-19 treatment, and we already had digital transformation technology, in addition to the FDA’s active cooperation. Our investment in digital platform technology greatly helped.”