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A biosimilar expansion in China
02-12-2019
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author
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INCHEON, Korea—Samsung Bioepis Co. Ltd. is looking to establish a larger footprint in mainland China by inking a licensing agreement with C-Bridge Capital, a healthcare-dedicated private equity firm that focuses on growth and late-stage investment opportunities. Per the terms of the agreement, C-Bridge will launch AffaMed Therapeutics, a new biopharmaceutical company that will specialize in the identification and licensing of late-stage candidates for commercialization in emerging Asia Pacific markets and globally. AffaMed will collaborate with Samsung Bioepis in several areas, such as clinical development, regulatory registration and commercialization in China. In return for the license, Samsung Bioepis will receive an upfront payment and royalties on any future sales. Specific financial details were not released.
 
“We want to play an important role in widening access to high-quality healthcare for patients throughout China. C-Bridge is the right partner for this mission as evidenced in its exceptional track record of successfully turning portfolio companies like AffaMed Therapeutics into leading biopharmaceutical companies in China and beyond,” Christopher Hansung Ko, president and CEO of Samsung Bioepis, said in a press release. “At Samsung Bioepis, we will continue to demonstrate our enduring commitment to biosimilars by further strengthening our pipeline and widening their availability for patients and healthcare systems across the world.”
 
The biosimilars covered by this agreement include third-wave biosimilar candidates SB11 and SB 12, which relate to Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Soliris (eculizumab), respectively, and SB3, which references Herceptin (trastuzumab). A Samsung Bioepis press release noted that the agreement unites “Samsung Bioepis’ proven agile biologics development platform and C-Bridge’s strong capital resource and China healthcare expertise.”
 
This deal comes just a month after Samsung Bioepis announced another biosimilar-focused licensing agreement. In early January, the company shared news of its licensing agreement with 3SBio Inc., which is headquartered in Shenyang, China. This deal also seeks to boost Samsung Bioepis' biosimilar business in mainland China, and covers a number of biosimilar candidates, such as SB8, which references Avastin (bevacizumab). Per the agreement, the two companies will collaborate on a variety of areas, which includes clinical development, regulatory registration and commercialization related to the biosimilar candidates in China. 3SBio will make upfront and milestone payments to Samsung Bioepis, who also stands to receive royalty payments on any sales tied to this transaction. No financial details were disclosed.
 
“We are very excited to expand our biosimilar business into China, where we hope to see our biosimilars play an important role in widening patient access to high-quality healthcare. We are confident we will achieve this goal through our partnership with 3SBio, which brings together Samsung Bioepis’ proven development platform with 3SBio’s strong commercialization platform,” Christopher Hansung Ko remarked. “At Samsung Bioepis, we will continue to demonstrate our enduring commitment to biosimilars by further strengthening our pipeline and widening their availability for patients and healthcare systems across the world.”
 
Samsung Bioepis has four biosimilars that have been approved and marketed in Europe, including Benepali (etanercept), Flixabi (infliximab) and Imraldi (adalimumab), which are anti-TNF compounds, and Ontruzant (trastuzumab). The company also has Renflexis (infliximab-abda) being marketed within the United States, and Ontruzant (trastuzumab-dttb), which has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.
 
Code: E02131901

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