Samsung Biologics to Take Control of Bioepis JV

04.02.2022 - Samsung Biologics has agreed to buy out partner Biogen’s share of their Samsung Bioepis joint venture for up to $2.3 billion. The South Korean group said the deal will accelerate growth in biosimilars and novel therapeutics R&D.

Biogen initially invested in a 15% stake in Samsung Bioepis when the joint venture was established in 2012. Under the terms of the original agreement, Biogen had the right to purchase up to 50% less one share of Samsung Bioepis, which it exercised in June 2018.

The board of directors of Samsung Biologics has approved the move. Payment will be made in installments over the next two years, with full ownership taking effect at the time the first sum of $1 billion is paid. The board has also agreed to raise capital of roughly $2.5 billion by issuing new shares to fund its growth plans, which include the takeover of Samsung Bioepis.

The partners will continue with their exclusive agreements after the acquisition, including commercialization of the venture’s portfolio. In addition, Biogen will retain commercial rights for eye treatment Byooviz, as well as SB15, an investigational biosimilar candidate currently being developed also for eye diseases.

According to Samsung Biologics, the global biosimilar market is forecast to grow by 8% per year, rising from $10 billion in 2021 to be worth $22 billion by 2030. The company has launched five biosimilars globally, three for autoimmune conditions and two in oncology. It is also about to release one product in the market and has four biosimilars in Phase 3 clinical trials.

The company is currently building a new biomanufacturing plant, dubbed Plant 4, which it said will break its own record of holding the world’s largest such capacity. This year, it also plans to start building another new facility – Plant 5 – that will offer multi-modal product services. In addition, the Incheon-based firm is in the process of securing additional land for Bio Campus II, which will be 30% larger than its current site.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist