10/17/2012 8:04:48 AM
Samsung Electronics’ aspirations to find a new growth engine in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals appear to have hit a speed bump. Company officials admit that it has halted clinical tests for SAIT101, a material it hoped would create more effective drugs to fight Hodgkin’s disease. ``We have been conducting clinical tests for SAIT101 in our labs in different locations around the word since March last year. However, the testing has stopped due to some internal reasons,’’ said one Samsung source, asking not be identified. The company had been testing the potential drug material with scientists in 16 countries, including Britain, Spain, Czech Republic, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and Taiwan aside of Korea. It appears that Samsung is being forced to redo the tests from scratch due to changes in safety requirements in Europe and the United States. The U.S. in particular has recently announced new guidelines for the research of biopharmaceuticals, or medical drugs produced using biotechnology. The Samsung source, who is close to the projects, said that the company is in talks with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to reset the conditions for the SAIT101 clinical tests. ``We had vowed to get quicker approval in Europe, so this will definitely put us behind our original schedule. There was also a need to better prepare for testing in the U.S. which is even a larger market. We will eventually be fine,’’ he said.
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