Samsung, the South Korean industry giant, will be launching their own biosimilars by 2015 and planned to invest more than $2bn till 2020.
The company (Samsung Biologics) first announced a collaboration with Biogen Idec and then, both companies announced that they have established their joint venture, Samsung Bioepis Co., Ltd., to develop, manufacture and market biosimilars.
In an interview with Financial Times, Tae-Han Kim, the president of Samsung Biologics, said that, the company is planning to complete the construction of their manufacturing site by June and they will get regulatory approval for the factory by the end of this year.
“Biopharmaceutical companies are good for sales, and biotech companies for innovation, but neither is good for manufacturing,” Mr. Kim said. “It is in Samsung’s DNA to produce products at low prices while meeting legal and industry requirements. The price of monoclonal antibodies is very expensive and not affordable to all patients. That is a heavy burden on governments and payers.”
Mr. Kim added that, Samsung, with international expertise in engineering, construction, shipping and electronics, had taken a decision a decade ago to move into medicines and by 2007 had already resolved to focus on monoclonal antibodies. According to the article, Mr. Kim said the company had since hired more than two-thirds of its senior executives in the new division from western drug companies.
It is also made clear in the article that, Samsung Biologics has the 85 per cent majority stake in the partnership with Biogen Idec. The company has committed to invest more than $2 billion in its new plant in Seoul till 2020.
Samsung Bioepis, will definitely be a strong player in biosimilars area but the company is also planning to start developing its own innovative products in the coming years.
Here is the article from Financial Times.