Merck and Samsung BioLogics to further their partnership
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.
Leading science and technology company Merck has therefore signed an MoU with Samsung BioLogics to further its biopharmaceutical manufacturing and biologics process development capabilities. It acts as an extension to the MoU the companies signed back in 2014.
Samsung BioLogics is a global full-service provider of quality-driven contract process development and cGMP manufacturing to the global biopharmaceutical industry. The alliance will see the duo further grow its 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.
“Merck's process development expertise and Mobius, the wide single-use bioprocessing portfolio, will allow innovations to reach patients faster," commented Udit Batra, Member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science.
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The company remains a premier supplier of process development and clinical-stage manufacturing solutions, materials and services needed to produce biopharmaceutical drugs and is committed to delivering superior bioreactor technology to manufacturers worldwide.
Samsung’s one-stop services include cell line generation, process and analytical method development, analytical services, clinical and commercial bulk cGMP manufacturing of drug substance and drug product. This also includes quality assurance, quality control, regulatory compliance standards and support for its customers.
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," stated Dr. Tae-Han Kim, President and CEO of Samsung BioLogics.
COVID-19 app for NHS staff launches as restrictions lift
A new app has launched today to support UK hospital staff who have been redeployed to care for COVID-19 patients.
The Acute COVID app has been co-developed by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and its charity CW+, along with health tech company Imagineear Health.
It provides information to healthcare staff via a step-by-step guide, aimed at both doctors and nurses. This includes the different stages of COVID-19 so they have guidance around triage at A&E, hospital admission, in-hospital treatments, and advanced care management.
The app also provides training on non-invasive ventilation. In the first wave of the pandemic the numbers of patients needing this type of ventilation led to staff who would not normally administer this to patients having to do so.
Additionally the app signposts staff to where they can access mental and physical wellbeing support, acknowledging the levels of staff burnout, particularly among frontline staff, the pandemic has created.
The launch of the app comes on the same day England lifts its COVID-19 restrictions, labelled "freedom day" by some. However infection rates have soared in recent weeks and the move has been fiercely opposed by scientists and doctors, both in the UK and abroad.
In a letter published in medical journal The Lancet backed by 1,200 international scientists, experts called the unlocking "a threat to the world", as allowing infection rates to rise enables the virus to mutate and potentially become resistant to the vaccination.
At the weekend the newly appointed health secretary Sajid Javid announced he had tested positive for coronavirus, and both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the chancellor Rishi Sunak are self-isolating.
Meanwhile in the first week of July more than 500,000 alerts were issued by the NHS Covid-19 app telling people they had been exposed to the virus. As a result businesses are considering cutting their opening hours while staff are self-isolating at home. The government has issued guidance saying that fully vaccinated frontline NHS staff in England will be allowed to carry on working even if they've come into contact with someone with COVID-19.