South Korea’s Samsung Bioepis Co. and its American half parent Biogen Inc. signed into a deal of $370 million for commercializing two ophthalmology biosimilars under development by the Korean biotech company plus an option to extend sales partnership for three anti-TNF biosimilars for treating auto-immune diseases.
The agreement provides Bigen an exclusive rights to commercialize Samsung Bioepis’ two ophthalmology biosimilars candidates - SB11 (ranibizumab) and SB15 (aflibercept) in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australia, according to Samsung Bioepis on Thursday.
SB11 and SB15 are biosimilar candidates to Lucentis and Eylea, respectively, for treating ophthalmologic conditions such as age-related macular degeneration. SB11 currently is undergoing phase 3 clinical trial and SB 15 is in pre-clinical development.
In addition, Biogen will acquire an option to extend an existing agreement with Samsung Bioepis for the Korean firm’s three anti-TNF biosimilars – Benepali (etanercept), Flixabi (infliximab), and Imraldi (adalimumab) in Europe plus exclusive commercialization rights for the anti-TNF portfolio in China.
Under the agreement, Samsung Bioepis will receive upfront payments of $100 million, up to $210 million in additional payments based on development, regulatory, sales milestone, and $60 million for an option for extending commercial agreement.
Samsung Bioepis develops and manufactures biosimilars while leaving the sales and marketing works to partners in markets that it seeks entry or expansion. Its global partners include Biogen and MSD, for marketing and selling its biosimilars in the U.S. and Europe.
“In Europe, we have been very pleased with Biogen’s commercialization efforts with our anti-TNF medicine...By building on this collaboration, we are excited to potentially expand the opportunity for patients living with ophthalmological conditions,” Christopher Hansung Ko, president and CEO of Samsung Bioepis was cited in a press release.
Samsung Bioepis is also readying for full-fledged entry into China, world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market. The company entered into a commercialization agreement with Chinese biotech company 3SBio Inc. earlier this year for its SB8 Bevacizumab biosimilar candidate.
Samsung Bioepis is a joint venture established in 2012 between Samsung BioLogics and Biogen.
By Kim Byung-ho and Cho Jeehyun
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