South Korea’s Samsung Biologics has agreed to pay US-based Biogen at least $2.25 billion for its 49.9% stake in their joint venture (JV), the companies said on Thursday.
Biogen said Samsung’s biotech unit would pay $1 billion in cash when the deal closed and two further payments worth a combined $1.25 billion over two years.
The JV, Samsung Bioepis, is devoted to the development and production of biosimilars, compounds that are very close in structure to a biologic, which is made from proteins.
“We are thankful to Samsung Biologics for a productive collaboration since 2012,” Biogen chief executive Michel Vounatsos said.
“We believe biosimilars are essential to help sustain healthcare systems and represent an important value creation opportunity for Biogen.”
The transaction comes as Biogen embarks on a $500 million cost-cutting drive driven by the disappointing performance of Aduhelm, the first new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease approved by US regulators for nearly two decades.
The Food and Drug Administration‘s approval of Aduhelm last year provoked controversy, with some scientists arguing there is little evidence that the drug slows the development of the deadly disease.
Samsung Biologics said the acquisition is expected to boost its own earnings in 2022 as the company capitalises on the high growth potential of Samsung Bioepis.
Biogen said it is eligible to receive another $50 million “contingent upon achievement of certain commercial milestones”.
- George Russell
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