For the fourth quarter 2017, Biogen generated $122m (€98m) in sales of biosimilar products, up 21% on Q3 and up 130% on the same period last year. For the full year, biosimilar sales stood at $380m, a 277% increase on 2016.
This was due to the recent approvals and launches of biosimilar products by Samsung Bioepis, a joint venture between Biogen and Korean manufacturer Samsung BioLogics formed in 2012.
Biogen owns approximately 9% of Samsung Bioepis but can increase its share to 49.9% under terms of the deal.
And according to CFO Jeff Capello, Biogen is looking to do this:
“We were pleased with the performance [of the biosimilars business] in the fourth quarter and as we look out through next year and thereon, I think that business is well-positioned,” he told stakeholders yesterday.
“We do have an option to buy in more to that business and I think that would be our intent,” he continued, adding the firm is looking at the option in terms of what will fit with its core operations.
Samsung Bioepis has five products approved across various markets, including a Remicade (infliximab) biosimilar – Renflexis – launched in the US last year by commercialisation partner Merck & Co. The biosimilar, known as Flixabi in Europe, is commercialised by Biogen, as is the JV’s version of Amgen’s Enbrel (etanercept), Benepali.
Biogen also operates as one of several contract manufacturer for Samsung Bioepis, making products from its facility in Hillerød, Denmark.