Merck & Co. enters biosimilar deal with Samsung Biologics, Biogen Idec JV

Merck & Co. announced Wednesday an agreement with Samsung Bioepis, a joint venture (JV) between Samsung Biologics and Biogen Idec, to develop and market a number of biosimilar candidates.

Under the deal, Samsung Bioepis will be responsible for preclinical and clinical development, process development and manufacturing, clinical trials and registration, with Merck marketing the resulting products. Merck will make an undisclosed upfront payment to Samsung Bioepis, with the latter also receiving product supply income and additional milestones. Further financial terms were not disclosed.

Merck's senior vice president of biologics and vaccines research at Merck Research Laboratories, Rich Murray, remarked that the deal "positions the two companies well to increase access to biosimilars," adding that it will "complement our expanding internal biologics portfolio." The agreement will focus on multiple pre-specified and undisclosed biosimilar candidates.

Samsung and Biogen Idec announced the formation of their JV in 2011 to develop, manufacture and market certain biosimilars.

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