Samsung, Quintiles team on $266M biosimilars deal

Everyone is interested in biosimilars these days--even mobile phone makers. South Korean technology conglomerate Samsung has inked a $266 million deal with CRO Quintiles to produce biosimilar versions of bestselling cancer and immunological disease drugs like Rituxan, Humira, Enbrel and Remicade. Those blockbuster biologics account for many of the world's bestselling drugs.

Samsung will begin construction of a new manufacturing facility near Seoul later this year and anticipates selling its first biologic products by 2013. Biosimilars should hit the market three years later, starting with Rituxan. Executive Vice President Kim Tae Han says his company hopes to generate $1.8 billion in revenue from biopharmaceuticals by 2020.

Overall, Samsung targets 1.8 trillion won (about $1.6 billion) in annual biopharmaceuticals revenue by 2020. The company said it will likely ink another biotech pact this year and eventually plans to develop its own drugs after it gains experience in manufacturing.

Samsung previously stated it plans to invest heavily in five growth sectors, including biopharmaceuticals and medical devices, in order to move away from TVs, mobile phones and other core business units. The company plans to invest up to $9.85 billion in healthcare by 2020.

- read the Bloomberg report for more