Eli Lilly’s visit to Bioepis and its sister unit Samsung Biologics on Wednesday was reported in the Korean press, prompting speculation the firms were about to make a deal.
The Korea Herald suggested Lilly’s Lantus biosimilar Basaglar (insulin glargine injection) – which is due to be launched in the US in December – would be the focus.
However, Samsung has denied that any such deal was discussed telling us the meeting with Lilly was a courtesy call.
"We would like to clarify that this was a courtesy meeting that did not involve any discussions about potential cooperation or partnerships."
Merck & Co deal
Bioepis already has an insulin biosimilar deal with a US drug manufacturer.
In 2012, it teamed up with Merck & Co to develop and commercialise biosimilar products.
The biosimilars include versions of J&J’s Remicade (infliximab), AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab) and Roche’s Herceptin (trastuzumab) and Brenzys, a version of Amgen’s arthritis TNF inhibitor Enbrel (etanercept) that was approved in Korea in September.
The fifth is a version of Sanofi’s insulin glargine product Lantus.
Samsung Bioepis is currently considering an initial public offering (IPO).