Biogen Idec, Samsung Form Biosimilars Joint Venture

Dec 13, 2011

Samsung and Biogen Idec agreed to invest $300 million to establish a joint venture to develop, manufacture, and market biosimilars. The deal is Samsung’s latest effort to strengthen its position in biosimilars.

Under the terms of the agreement, Samsung will contribute $255 million of the $300 million for an 85% stake, and Biogen Idec will contribute $45 million for a 15% stake in the joint venture. The joint venture, which will be based in Korea, will contract with Biogen Idec and Samsung Biologics for technical development and manufacturing services. Biogen will contribute expertise in protein engineering and biologics manufacturing. Samsung Biologics is a Samsung business formed in April 2011 to specialize in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. The joint venture will not pursue biosimilars of Biogen Idec's proprietary products.

“The future of healthcare will continue to be driven by innovation, but it will also be about ensuring patients have access to cost-effective therapies, and biosimilars will play an important role in that,” said George A. Scangos, CEO of Biogen Idec, in a press release. “This relationship will allow us to leverage our world-class protein engineering and biologics manufacturing capabilities while maintaining focus on our mission of discovering, developing, and delivering innovative therapies for patients worldwide with neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia, and autoimmune disorders.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearance by the US and Korean regulators. In February of this year, Samsung formed a new joint-venture company to provide biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing services in South Korea with the CRO Quintiles. Samsung owns 90% of the company, and Quintiles owns 10%. At the time, Samsung said it planned to commercialize biosimilars by 2016 and to expand into innovative biologics in the future. The joint-venture company plans to construct a biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant in South Korea and begin full-scale operations in April 2013.

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