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Samsung deal with Takeda looks beyond biosimilars

The duo plan to develop “multiple novel biologic therapies”

TakedaSamsung Bioepis has ambitions to add novel biologics drugs to its portfolio of biosimilars - and has enlisted the aid of Takeda to make that happen.

The two partners have entered into an agreement to develop "multiple novel biologic therapies", but have kicked off their collaboration by joining forces on TAK-671, a candidate for severe acute pancreatitis that is still in preclinical development.

Details of TAK-671's mechanism of action are still sketchy, as are the financial terms of the alliance other than the fact that it will involve joint funding of projects. What is known is that Samsung and Takeda will collaborate on clinical trials of TAK-671 and future partnered drugs, as well as regulatory and commercial activities if development proceeds as hoped.

For Samsung Bioepis - a joint venture between Samsung and Biogen set up five years ago - the deal takes it from the relatively less risky path of developing copies of off-patent biologic brands and into the potentially more lucrative arena of novel drug development.

Meanwhile, it’s a symbol of a more open and expansive approach to R&D at Takeda under the management of CEO Christophe Weber and R&D head Andrew Plump, who have implemented sweeping changes since joining the company.

The last three years have seen Takeda move from an insular approach to R&D to one in which the company has narrowed its focus to three key areas - oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system - and has been signing a steady stream of licensing and collaborative deals to tap into external expertise, including a strategic-level deal with contract research organisation PRA.

The new agreement opens "a new chapter" for Samsung Bioepis, according to chief executive Christopher Hansung Ko.

"Five years ago, we entered the biopharmaceutical industry with a strong determination to transform the way therapies are brought to patients by replacing legacy processes with new and innovative ones," he continued.

"Together with Takeda, we look forward to realizing this goal vision by accelerating the development of effective therapies for patients who are currently without a viable treatment option."

Samsung Bioepis has already been granted approvals for biosimilars of Amgen's Enbrel (etanercept), Johnson & Johnson's Remicade (infliximab) and Sanofi's Lantus (insulin glargine), and has filed for versions of AbbVie's Humira (adalimumab) and Roche's Herceptin (trastuzumab).

Article by
Phil Taylor

22nd August 2017

From: Sales

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