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Biosimilars Giant Takes the Plunge Into Original Biotech Drugs Via Takeda (TKPYY) Deal

8/21/2017 5:31:05 AM

Biosimilars Giant Takes the Plunge Into Original Biotech Drugs Via Takeda Deal August 21, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

SEOUL, South Korea – Samsung Bioepis, a joint project between Samsung and Biogen, is taking its biosimilar expertise into a joint project with Takeda to develop multiple novel biologic therapies in unmet disease areas, the companies announced Sunday.

The joint venture already has its first therapeutic candidate, TAK-671, which is intended to treat severe acute pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas. Takeda has some anti-inflammatory medications on the market, including Entyvio, for severely active ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD).

The companies said the partnership brings together Samsung Bioepis’ “agile biologics development platform with Takeda’s best-in-class experts in drug development.” Full financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Christopher Hansung Ko, president and chief executive officer of Samsung Bioepis, said it was Takeda’s expertise in drug development that drew the Korean company to the partnership with Takeda. In his statement, he said the partnership with the Japanese firm opens a new chapter for Samsung Bioepis.

“Five years ago, we entered the biopharmaceutical industry with a strong determination to transform the way therapies are brought to patients by replacing legacy processes with new and innovative ones. Together with Takeda, we look forward to realizing this vision by accelerating the development of effective therapies for patients who are currently without a viable treatment option,” Hansung Ko said in a statement.
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For Takeda the partnership with Samsung Bioepis was well scouted. Daniel Curran, head of external development at Takeda, said the company looks for partners that “have complementary expertise.”

“This collaboration with Samsung Bioepis does that, by combining our unique capabilities in development and manufacturing along with fresh and innovative clinical approaches, we will maximize the potential for successful introduction of important medicines to patients,” Curran said in a statement.

Samsung Bioepis, which was formed in 2012, has had success in developing biosimilars in the rheumatoid arthritis market. Earlier this year, the company saw the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approve its first U.S. drug, Renflexis. Renflexis is a biosimilar version of Janssen’s Remicade (infliximab), also known as SB2 – for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, pediatric Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, pediatric ulcerative colitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. Renflexis is the second RA biosimilar for Samsung Bioepis. In September 2015, the company also saw Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approve Brenzys, a biosimilar of Amgen’s Enbrel. Brenzys has since earned approval from the European Medicines Agency.

The partnership with Takeda will likely be the first of many for Samsung Bioepis. Company spokesperson Mingi Hyun told Reuters that Samsung Bioepis is looking at other joint deals in order to further its footprint in becoming an original drugmaker that can develop therapies and carry them through clinical trials.

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