Biogen to sell stake in Samsung Bioepis JV for up to $2.3bn

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Biogen Samsung bioepis Samsung biologics Biosimilars

Biogen will sell its equity stake in the biosimilars joint venture to Samsung Biologics for up to $2.3bn.

Established in 2012, Samsung Bioepis has built up a strong anti-TNF portfolio in Europe. Biogen initially had a 15% stake in the business, then grew this to a 50% less one share stake in June 2018.

The JV has launched five biosimilars globally: three in autoimmune and two in oncology. Another product is about to be released in the market; and four biosimilars are in Phase 3 trials.

The companies will continue with their exclusive agreements, including commercialization of their current portfolio, for the following products: Benepali (etanercept), a biosimilar referencing Enbrel; Imraldi (adalimumab), a biosimilar referencing Humira; and Flixabi (infliximab), a biosimilar referencing Remicade.

In addition, Biogen will retain commercial rights for Byooviz (ranibizumab-nuna), a biosimilar referencing Lucentis (ranibizumab), which became the first FDA-approved biosimilar to treat macular degeneration in September and has also received approval in the EU and UK.

Biogen also retains an investigational candidate in development, SB15 (aflibercept), a proposed biosimilar referencing Eylea.

Samsung Biologics to build up biosimilars business 

Samsung Biologics says the purchase will accelerate its growth in biosimilars and novel therapeutics. The Board of Directors has approved the transaction.

“The full buyout of Biogen’s stake is expected to accelerate Samsung Bioepis’ biosimilar development capabilities and future performance in novel drug development, with improved autonomy and agility in business operations,”​ said a statement from the company.

“The deal will further deliver Samsung Bioepis’ sales growth and operating margin improvements with streamlined operational efficiencies, budget surplus, and cash flow generation.” 

Under the terms of this agreement, Biogen will receive $1bn in cash at closing and $1.25bn to be deferred over two payments of $812.5m due at the first anniversary and $437.5m due at the second anniversary of the closing of the transaction. Biogen is eligible to receive up to $50m contingent upon achievement of certain commercial milestones. 

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