On Monday, Samsung Bioepis Co LTd reported it will fund and develop a variety of original drugs in collaboration with Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, growing it’s business pipeline beyond copies of existing biologic drugs.
Original biotech drugs signify a business increase for Samsung Bioepis, which has so far invested $1.3 billion in drug development since it was founded in 2012 and has attained approvals for two bio similar drugs in Europe and one in the U.S.
Bioepis is part of South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group’s biopharmaceutical waged as a future growth engine, along with contract manufacturer parent Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd.
The partnership will develop novel biologic drugs in “unmet disease areas”, Bioepis said in a joint statement with Takeda, adding the two companies will immediately begin working on a treatment for severe acute pancreatitis.
The company would not disclose other terms of the development program. Interest in biosimilars has hiked in recent years as copies of some of the world’s best-selling biologic medicines have reached the market at huge discounts.
As somewhat of a latecomer to the industry, Samsung Dioepis put a stamp on it’s development abilities by becoming the first firm to launch a biosmiliar version of Amgen’s flagship rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel in Europe in 2016, hit over $250 million in sales to date, reported by Bioepis.
It has also received both European and U.S. approval for its copy of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade, and is waiting for European regulatory decisions for its biosimilar versions of AbbVie Inc’s Humira and Roche’s Herceptin.
Samsung Bioepis will also look for partnerships with other drugmakers to become an original drugmaker that can conduct all phases of novel biologics development in 10 years, spokesman Mingi Hyun stated.
Samsung Group hopes the biosimilars business will develop into a new growth driver as global demand for smartphones eases, pressuring on the forecast for the mobile business of flagship firm Samsung Electronics.