Samsung Bioepis, which recently terminated its biosimilar sales deal with the Korean unit of global drug maker MSD, chose Yuhan Corp. as a new marketing partner.
Yuhan유한양행 said Wednesday that it had concluded an exclusive license deal with Samsung Bioepis삼성바이오에피스 to sell and distribute two biosimilars, Renflexis (SB2) and Brenzys (SB4) – copy versions of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade and Amgen’s Enbrel -- in the Korean market. The deal did not include Hadlima, a biosimilar of Humira, which received the health authorities’ approval this year.
The latest deal gives Yuhan access to “anti-TNFα antibodies” biomedical market in Korea, which is worth 150 billion won ($136 million) in annual revenue.
Yuhan said its long-time expertise in the digestive system, rheumatism and internal medicine and Samsung Bioepis’ pipelines of biomedical products would create synergy in the future.
MSD Korea had the local sales license of Samsung Bioepis’ products, but the company ceased the sales early this year. MSD Korea reportedly decided to terminate the contract and closed its biosimilar-related division.
Samsung’s alternative was Yuhan. The new move is apparently Samsung Bioepis’ strategy to increase its local market share.
Yuhan has proved its strong sales ability by bringing items from multinational pharmaceutical firms and selling them successfully in the Korean market. Proving that it can sell biomedical products, Yuhan once sold Janssen Korea’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade, which was one of the reasons why Samsung Bioepis teamed up with Yuhan, observers said.
“Samsung Bioepis has made every effort to help patients gain easier access to biomedical products. We concluded the contract with Yuhan Corp. because we regarded the firm as the best partner due to its keen interest in the Korean biomedical market,” a Samsung Bioepis official said.
As for the termination of the license deal with MSD Korea, the official said “our bilateral partnership for a global market, excluding Korea, has not changed at all. We will continue to cooperate with them in the global market including the U.S. and Europe.”
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