On November 17th, a long-term partnership was signed between Samsung Biologics and Eli Lilly to manufacture the latter’s COVID-19 antibody treatments. Samsung said it delivered an initial supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that met good manufacturing practices (GMP) and regulatory expectations within five months since the deal was signed in May.
According to Samsung, the technology transfer was completed within less than three months. The long-term manufacturing agreement complements the internal manufacturing capacity of Lilly. This partnership also expects to accelerate the global supply of its COVID-19 antibody therapies, with the ultimate goal of making antibody treatments more accessible to patients globally. By the end of 2020, Lilly is hoping to produce up to one million doses of the antibody for worldwide use. It expects supplies to increase significantly from the first quarter of 2021 onwards.
“Neutralizing antibodies are proving to be a potentially important tool in the fight against COVID-19, and the biopharmaceutical industry is working quickly and effectively to increase global manufacturing supply,” said David A. Ricks, Chairman, and CEO of Lilly. “This agreement with Samsung complements Lilly’s own internal manufacturing capacity and greatly expands our ability to provide patients worldwide with Lilly antibody therapies.”
In May 2020, Lilly and Samsung Biologics entered into a manufacturing partnership agreement to address the demand worldwide for COVID-19 treatments. Within 5 months of signing the contract, Samsung produced and delivered an initial supply of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) that met Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and regulatory expectations.
“We are very pleased to deliver this product to our client Lilly at record-breaking speed to help in the war against the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients suffering from this devastating disease are gaining new hope, thanks to Lilly’s ongoing scientific efforts. Samsung Biologics is proud to be Lilly’s CDMO partner and will continue to work with them relentlessly and collaboratively to bring COVID-19 treatments to patients who need them the most, wherever they are,” said Dr. Tae Han Kim, CEO of Samsung Biologics.
As reported by the analytics company GlobalData, payers already see value in medicine at their current price. Since the drug reduces the hospital burden during a pandemic, Lilly’s medication currently costs $1,250 a vial.
By Ching-Hsu Yang, Ph.D. Candidate, National Taiwan University
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