Samsung Bioepis and Takeda in Biologics Pact
South Korean biopharmaceutical company Samsung Bioepis is taking its first step into novel drug development with an agreement to partner Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical. The move expands Samsung Bioepis’ business beyond creating biosimilars, which has been its focus since launching in 2012.
The companies will jointly fund and co-develop multiple novel biologic therapies in unmet disease areas. Samsung Bioepis said the collaboration will combine its biologics development platform with Takeda’s drug development expertise. An initial focus will be to develop TAK-671, a treatment for severe acute pancreatitis.
“With novel biologics, we will look to bring medicines to treat unmet diseases by breaking down two major hurdles facing biologics development—cost overruns and time delays,” British newspaper, Financial Times quotes Samsung as saying.
Samsung is reported to be seeking more partnerships with other pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
An offshoot of conglomerate Samsung, which is best known for making electrical and electronic devices, Samsung Bioepis became the first company to launch a biosimilar version of Amgen’s blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel in Europe last year. It has also gained approval in Europe and the US for Renflexis, its copy of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade used to treat autoimmune diseases.