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Biogen Idec, Samsung to Form $300M Biosimilar Venture

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Biogen Idec, a biotechnology company in Weston, Massachusetts, and the Korean conglomerate Samsung will form a joint venture to develop and market follow-on biologic drugs known as biosimilars. Investments by both companies in the venture will total $300 million.

Samsung will contribute $255 million of the $300 million for an 85 percent stake in the joint venture, and Biogen Idec will contribute $45 million for a 15 percent stake. The joint venture, based in Korea, will contract with Biogen Idec and Samsung Biologics for technical development and manufacturing services.

Samsung formed Samsung Biologics in April 2011 to specialize in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. “By combining Biogen Idec’s expertise in biologics with our business acumen and proven record of success in new business development, we are taking a significant step toward becoming a major player in the biopharmaceutical industry,” says Tae-Han Kim, the CEO of Samsung Biologics.

Biosimilars are generic versions of biologics therapies, developed after the expiration of patents on the original versions. The joint venture does not plan to develop biosimilars of Biogen Idec’s own products. The company has specialized in therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, hemophilia, and autoimmune disorders.

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