Biosimilars drugmaker Samsung Bioepis has joined forces with Takeda Pharmaceutical to develop biologic therapies in novel disease areas. This is the first time Samsung Bioepis has entered into an agreement to develop novel drugs; historically the company has focused on manufacturing biologic copycats known as biosimilars.
“Takeda’s extensive knowledge and expertise in drug development makes the company an ideal partner for us as we open a new chapter at Samsung Bioepis,” said Christopher Hansung Ko, President and CEO, 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.”
The companys’ first project will be to develop – and eventually commercialize – a drug candidate, TAK-671, designed to treat severe acute pancreatitis. Neither Samsung Bioepis nor Takeda have disclosed the exact terms of the collaboration.
Though the company has only been around for about half a decade, Samsung Bioepis has had considerable success in the growing biosimilar space in that time. The biosimilar drugmaker has gained two regulatory approvals in Europe for its copy of Amgen’s Enbrel and Janssen’s Remicade.
The company’s Remicade biosimilar was also recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While biosimilars development requires a significant investment of both time and money, bringing novel biologic drugs to market is even more challenging.
“At Takeda, we think differently – and creatively – about what makes a partnership successful and look to build on our strengths by collaborating with partners who have complementary expertise,” said Dr. Daniel Curran, Head, Center for External Innovation, Takeda. “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.”