Biogen Idec, Samsung Bioepis to commercialize biosimilars

Agreement to focus on anti-tumor necrosis factor biosimilars

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Biogen Idec, together with Samsung Bioepis, has announced that through their joint venture, Biogen Idec has exercised its right to enter into an agreement for the commercialization of anti-tumor necrosis factor biosimilar product candidates in Europe. This includes biosimilars of therapies for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. The tumor necrosis factor is part of the body's inflammation response, which plays a signficant role in both the aforementioned diseases, as well as several others like them.
Per the terms of the agreement, Biogen Idec will assume responsibility for the commercialization of such product candidates in Europe. No financial terms for the agreement were disclosed.
“Biogen Idec has been an innovative joint venture partner in Samsung Bioepis and now with this agreement we are excited to extend our relationship into commercial operations,” Christopher Hansung Ko, Ph.D., CEO of Samsung Bioepis, said in a press release regarding the deal. “Samsung Bioepis has established a global commercialization plan for its antibody drugs currently under development, and we believe this agreement will further serve as a solid foundation for Samsung Bioepis to develop into a worldwide biosimilar leader.”
“This is a unique opportunity for us to leverage our experience in developing and manufacturing high-quality biologics in therapeutic areas where we are deeply focused, and provide medicines to patients where there is a significant societal need,” added Tony Kingsley, executive vice president of global commercial operations for Biogen Idec, in a statement. “As a company that aims to make a difference in the lives of patients with serious diseases, we are excited by the potential to offer additional highly effective therapies in critical areas where there is growing demand.”
This is not the first time Biogen Idec and Samsung have worked together, as their work together in the field of biosimilars began two years ago. Back in December 2011, Biogen Idec and Samsung announced an agreement under which they would invest $300 million to establish a joint venture—Samsung Bioepis—for the development, manufacture and marketing of biosimilars, with Samsung holding the leading role in the joint venture and Biogen Idec contributing its experience in protein engineering and biologics manufacturing. The joint venture’s goal is to develop affordable and high-quality biopharmaceutical and biosimilar products.
Per the 2011 agreement, Samsung agreed to put forward $255 million in funding, providing it with an 85-percent stake in the joint venture, while Biogen Idec contributed $45 million for a 15-percent stake. The joint venture is based in Korea and would contract for technical development and manufacturing services with both Biogen Idec and Samsung Biologics, which was established in April 2011 to specialize in biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

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