Samsung Electronics Chmn. Lee Calls for Making Semiconductor Success into a ‘Bio Legend’
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Samsung Electronics Chmn. Lee Calls for Making Semiconductor Success into a ‘Bio Legend’
Lee, staying in the United States for the 17th day, has series of meetings with global pharmaceutical company CEOs to explore new businesses

27(Sat), May, 2023

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jay-yong poses with CEO Noubar Afeyan of Flagship Pioneering, concurrently co-founder of Moderna, as the former toured Flagship Pioneering headquarters and met with the latter in November 2021. (Photo: Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jay-yong’s recent statement that the starting point is not a matter of significance may be construed as an expression of his strong determination to break down high entry barriers in the global bio industry. 

“Success or failure depends on bold and patient challenging, and let’s foster the semiconductor success DNA so it can evolve into a bio legend,” Lee said. 

He made the remarks during a recent meeting of officials with Samsung Electronics North America Sales Corp. following a series of meetings with global pharmaceutical company CEOs. 

Business sources said Lee was on a multi-week business trip as part of a Korean business delegation, which accompanied President Yoon Suk-yeol, on a state visit there. 

During the current working trip to the United States, Chairman Lee met with global pharmaceutical company CEOs, such as CEO Joaquin Duato of Johnson & Johnson, CEO Giovanni Caforio of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), CEO Noubar Afeyan of Flagship Pioneering, CEO Christopher A. Viehbacher of Biogen, and CEO Kevin Ali of Organon and discussed ways of exploring new businesses and promoting cooperation with President John Rim of Samsung Biologics and President Koh Han-seung of Samsung Bioepis in attendance. 

The business figures Chairman Lee met are global bio leaders. J&J CEO Joaquin Duato is a legendary figure who has risen to the top of J&J 34 years after completing graduate school. 

J&J ranked 3rd in the global pharmaceutical sector and sixth in the global bio market last year. J&J is one of Samsung’s major customer companies. 

Samsung and J&J have maintained partnership after inking a CDMO deal following a meeting of CEOs of both companies in 2016.

BMS became Samsung’s first customer company to sign a contract on commissioned manufacturing of pharmaceuticals in 2013. BMS CEO Caforio has served as chief executive officer of the pharmaceutical company since 2015. 

Samsung’s winning orders from BMS has served as an opportunity for Samsung to achieve a fast growth after gaining recognition in the global pharmaceutical and bio markets. 

Flagship Pioneering CEO Afeyan is a co-founder of Moderna, a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines. Samsung’s manufacturing of Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine has contributed to the nation’s overcoming the crisis caused by the pandemic. 

Flagship Pioneering is a global investment company which has explored and nurtured globally recognized bio tech companies, such as Moderna. 

CEO Afeyan concurrently serve as chairman of the board of directors of Moderna after co-funding the company. 

Biogen had established Samsung Bioepis, a joint venture with Samsun Biologics, but the former had disposed of its stake to Samsung last year. 

Biogen has been still maintaining close relationships with Samsung as the former is still responsible for distributing and selling Samsung’s products in Europe. 

Organon is Samsung’s global sale partner, responsible for selling biosimilars, produced by Samsung, overseas.

 Samsung, choosing the bio business as one of new breeding businesses in 2010, has been stepping on the gas to make massive investments. The bio business was dubbed “2nd Semiconductor” in August 2021. 

Samsung Biologics, established in 2011, has made a feat of rising to top the global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) sector in 11 years thanks to bold and fast investments overtaking its rivals. 

As Plant 5 with a manufacturing capacity of 180,000 liters, whose construction was launched this year, is dedicated in 2025, Samsung Biologics’ total capacity will expand to 784,000 liters, solidifying the global No.1 position. 

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