SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Biologics Co., the biotech arm of South Korea’s Samsung Group, said Friday that it has reached a deal with Biogen Inc. to buy the U.S. drugmaker’s entire stake in Samsung Bioepis for US$2.3 billion.
Currently, Biogen owns 50 percent minus one share in Samsung Bioepis, the joint venture set up with Samsung Biologics in 2012 to develop and market biosimilars, cheaper copies of blockbuster drugs.
Samsung Biologics said its board of directors has approved the transaction, in which the payment for the shares will be made in installments over the next two years, and full ownership will take effect at the time the first payment of $1 billion is made.
Biogen is also eligible to receive up to $50 million, contingent upon the achievement of certain commercial milestones, according to Samsung Biologics.
The major South Korean contract drug manufacturer said the transaction is expected to boost its earnings growths on a consolidated basis by fully capitalizing on Samsung Bioepis’ growth outlook.
For 2021, Samsung Biologics reported a net profit of 393.6 billion won, up 63.3 percent from a year earlier, on the back of the stellar performance of its flagship drugs.
Samsung Biologics said it will continue its exclusive agreement with Biogen, including commercialization of their current portfolio.
Samsung Bioepis has successfully launched five biosimilars globally — three autoimmune drugs and two oncology drugs. Four other biosimilars are in phase three clinical trials, with one new drug under development.
Samsung Biologics is currently building its fourth plant in Songdo, south of the western port city of Incheon, following major deals to manufacture products for major global pharmaceutical giants.
With the fourth plant’s completion, Samsung Biologics will secure a combined bioreactor capacity of 620,000 liters, making it the largest contract manufacturing (CMO) facility in a single location in the world.
Samsung Biologics said it will not only focus on the CMO business but also diversify its business portfolio to meet growing demand amid the pandemic.