Samsung to enter biosimilars market with new joint venture

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Samsung to enter biosimilars market with new joint venture

Samsung Biologics and Biogen Idec have agreed to invest $300 million to form a joint venture focused on biosimilars, Samsung Group said yesterday, the conglomerate’s latest move to expand into health care as a new revenue source.

Samsung Biologics will contribute $255 million and control an 85 percent stake in the venture, and Biogen Idec will hold the remaining 15 percent stake, Samsung said in a statement.

The venture will be established in March 2012 in Incheon, 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Seoul, and will develop, manufacture and market biosimilars. These are officially approved copycat medicines that are developed after patents for the original biopharmaceuticals expire.

Samsung Biologics is Samsung’s biopharmaceutical manufacturing unit formed in April 2011 as part of the group’s plan to diversify its businesses outside its mainstays of consumer electronics and mobile devices.

“At Samsung, one of our goals is to help patients around the world by increasing the accessibility and affordability of existing medicines,” Kim Tae-han, chief executive of Samsung Biologics, said in a statement.

“Since many of the world’s top-selling drugs are biologics, developing and making high-quality biosimilars is critical to that goal.”

Bloomberg, Yonhap

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