Biogen Idec and Samsung announced that they are teaming up to develop and market biosimilars. The two companies will form a joint venture, based in Korea, which will be funded by $255 million from Samsung and $45 million from Biogen, giving the latter a 15 percent stake in the venture.
Biogen said that it expects biosimilars to constitute “a meaningful revenue stream” and that the company was working on several biosimilar molecules. Biogen emphasized today that the Samsung joint venture would not pursue biosimilar versions of proprietary Biogen drugs.
Samsung has laid out plans to invest close to $2 billion in the biosimilar business in expectation of developing a new subsidiary that can earn roughly that amount annually in about a decade. "We are taking a significant step toward becoming a major player in the biopharmaceutical industry and investing in an important growth engine for our company," Samsung Biologics CEO Tae-han Kim said in the statement.
Biogen CEO George Scangos made no secret of his own interest in biosimilars. He indicated Samsung could shoulder sales and marketing while Biogen concentrated its efforts on the manufacturing end of the deal.
"The manufacturing facilities have costs to run them, so the more products you run through them, the more efficient they are," Scangos said. "To set ourselves up commercially could be a big distraction. I'd like a partner to take over that." Looks like we have a match. See Fierce Biotech and Xconomy.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Dec 6th 2011.