[THE INVESTOR] Korean pharmaceutical firm Samsung Bioepis has started research on a biosimilar for the drug Soliris, used to treat paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, industry sources said on Oct. 31.
According to sources, Samsung Bioepis plans to develop and release a more affordable version of the product -- originally developed by US-based Alexion Pharmaceuticals -- under the name SB12.
Samsung Bioepis will carry out clinical tests on 240 adults in Germany. The project is estimated to run through April next year.
PNH is a disease in which the destruction of red blood cells leads to a red discoloration of the urine. Being a rare disease, there are only approximately 750 patients in Korea.
The local price of a single 30-milliliter dose of Soliris costs 6 million won (US$527). The average cost of the original Soliris is estimated at around 500 million won for a one-year supply.
The annual global sales of Soliris came to US$3.1 billion in 2017.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)