[Photo by Samsung BioLogics]
Samsung BioLogics said on Thursday it has signed a contract to develop an immunotherapy drug for GI Innovation, a Korean biotech startup. The biopharmaceutical arm of Samsung Group did not elaborate the deal value but said the contract is their first joint project out of five. It also represents the second contract drug development deal signed between them.
Under the latest contract, Samsung BioLogics will develop cell lines for GI Innovation and produce therapeutic materials to be evaluated during a phase 1 study. GI Innovation is developing a novel drug based on its expertise in microbiome and protein bioinformatics.
Samsung BioLogics has so far won eight deals to develop novel drugs just one year after it declared business diversification beyond contract manufacturing. Samsung BioLogics has focused on CMO business since its founding in 2011 and recently added drug development and research business to its portfolio for Korean and overseas biopharmaceutical clients.
Samsung BioLogics’ capability to provide a comprehensive range of service spanning from CMO to CDO and CRO will help the biopharmaceutical industry to focus on their core, said Kim Tae-han, chief executive of Samsung BioLogics.
The contract will help ensure quality and integrity of sample drugs for clinical research, the most challenging part facing biotech startups, said Nam Soo-yeon, chief executive of GI Innovation, hoping to realize a win-win business model between a large company and a startup through the joint project.
By Kim Byung-ho and Minu Kim
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