The partnership will see Samsung Bioepis license biosimilar candidates to C-Bridge Capital, including SB11 and SB12 – biosimilars to Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Soliris (eculizumab), respectively.
As part of the licensing agreement, C-Bridge, a venture capital company, will form its own biopharmaceutical company, which will be known as AffaMed Therapeutics.
Licensing Samsung Bioepis’ candidates will see C-Bridge pay an unspecified upfront fee, as well as royalties on any sales. The products will be commercialised exclusively in China.
“We want to play an important role in widening access to high-quality healthcare for patients throughout China. C-Bridge is the right partner for this mission as evidenced in its exceptional track record of successfully turning portfolio companies like AffaMed Therapeutics into leading biopharmaceutical companies in China and beyond,” said Christopher Hansung Ko, CEO of Samsung Bioepis.
C-Bridge revealed that it would gain access to the product SB3, which references Herceptin (trastuzumab) and has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.
The newly formed AffaMed Therapeutics will be led by Nathan Pang, who takes the position of CEO after previously being general manager for Sanofi China.
The deal marks the second time that Samsung Bioepis has reached out to companies in the Chinese market to commercialise pipeline products. Last month, the South Korean company agreed to partner with 3SBio, again for an undisclosed upfront fee, that will see the two firms work on clinical development and commercialisation for the Chinese market.
The Chinese market for biologics is developing quickly due to regulatory changes in the country and the speeding up of the clinical trial process. This has led to more companies, such as Samsung Bioepis, making efforts to expand operation within the country.