[THE INVESTOR] Korean telecom equipment maker Amnis has made an investment in its affiliate Polus to give an impetus to its biosimilar business.
On Dec. 29, Amnis purchased convertible bonds worth 10 billion won (US$9.37 million) issued by Polus, which focuses on the development of first-generation biosimilar products such as human growth hormone and insulin therapies.
Polus plans to use the funds for the construction of its new plant located within a 48,000 square meter plot in Gyeonggi Province. It is set to be completed by August. The company also plans to set up a production site in Turkey where it will be in charge of supplying products to the European markets.
The investment comes as Amnis is set to morph into a biopharma company by adding its top executives from major companies specialized in biosimilar and contract drug manufacturing sectors including Celltrion and Samsung BioLogics.
“We will concentrate on biopharma and may spin off our telecom equipment business later but retain it for a while,” an official at Amnis told The Investor. Amnis will convene an extraordinary general meeting on Jan. 26 to decide on changing its name to Polus Biopharm.
The drug pipeline of Polus includes copy versions of Sanofi’s diabetes treatment Lantus, Eli Lilly’s insulin product Humalog, Novo Nordisk’s human growth hormone drug Norditropin and Roche eye drug Lucentis.
Among them, Polus’ lead drug candidate is the biosimilar referencing Sanofi’s Lantus, which is expected to enter phase 1 clinical trials by the end of 2018, according to a Polus official.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)