Samsung Biologics will take full ownership Samsung Bioepis 10 years after forming the biosimilar developer with Biogen.
In 2012, the relatively new contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Samsung Biologics teamed up with Biogen Idec (now just Biogen) to form a joint venture aimed at developing, manufacturing and marketing biosimilars: Samsung Bioepis.
Over the past decade, the share of the entity has shifted – Samsung Biologics began with an 85% share, which later increased to 94.6% before Biogen paid $670 million in 2018 for a near even split – but now Biogen will exit the JV by selling its stake to its partner.
Samsung Biologics will pay Biogen $1 billion in cash up front with a further $1.25 billion to be deferred over two payments: $812.5 million will be due at the first anniversary and $437.5 million due at the second anniversary of the closing of the transaction.
Since its founding, Samsung Bioepis has become a major player in the biosimilar space, with six products approved across several regions. These include versions of blockbuster biologics including Amgen’s Enbrel (etanercept), J&J’s Remicade (infliximab), AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab), and Roche’s Herceptin (trastuzumab). Four more biosimilars are in Phase III clinical trials.
Despite Biogen’s exit from the space, CEO Michel Vounatsos said “biosimilars are essential to help sustain healthcare systems and represent an important value creation opportunity for Biogen.” Biogen could still receive up to $50 million upon achievement of commercial milestones going forward.
The acquisition moves Samsung Biologics further away from the pure-play CDMO business it has developed over the past decade and towards a top tier pharmaceutical company, something the firm told this publication last year was near the top of its growth strategy.