[THE INVESTOR] Merck, a global health care company, has won a US$117 million contract to supply the biosimilar Renflexis, developed by Samsung Bioepis, to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, industry sources said on October 7.
Merck, known as MSD outside the US and Canada, said last week that Renflexis was awarded a national contract.
“We are pleased that VA has chosen to expand access to an important treatment option such as RENFLEXIS for our Veterans who have nobly served this country,” Patrick Magri, senior vice president of U.S. hospital & specialty business unit at Merck, said in comments posted on the company‘s website, using the abbreviation for Veterans Affairs.
Under a 2013 deal, Merck is responsible for commercializing multiple biosimilar candidates in certain partnered territories, while Samsung Bioepis is responsible for preclinical and clinical development, process development and manufacturing, clinical trials and regulatory registration.
Renflexis -- a biosimilar of Janssen Biotech, Inc.’s blockbuster immunology medicine Remicade -- won approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in April 2017.
In 2015, South Korea‘s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety approved Renflexis for treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis.
Samsung Bioepis is a joint venture between Samsung BioLogics and Biogen Inc. Samsung BioLogics is a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group.
By Ahn Sung-mi and news wires (firstname.lastname@example.org)