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MSD and Samsung Bioepis terminate development of Lantus biosimilar for diabetes

Published on 15/10/18 at 11:30am

MSD has reportedly terminated a previous agreement with Samsung Bioepis which would have seen them collaborate on a biosimilar version of Sanofi’s Lantus (insulin glargine) for diabetes.

The deal, which was reached in February 2014 as an expansion of an existing agreement, concerned the development, manufacture and commercialisation of MK-1293, or Lusduna Nexvue. The pair was awarded a tentative approval from the FDA in July last year, but the development process was plagued with setbacks, foremost of which was patent infringement litigation levied by the originator manufacturer, Sanofi, delaying final approval by up to 30 months.

The decision was made after an assessment of the market, pricing, and production costs, deeming further development to be unfeasible. As a contingent of their parting ways, the companies confirmed that MSD had $155 million to Samsung Bioepis to cover its investments made under the partnership, plus interest.

A spokesperson for Samsung Bioepis said: "[MSD] decided to end the product development and commercialisation after reviewing the market environment and production costs."

Despite their divergence on the project, the pair will continue to work together on its existing biosimilar collaborations in oncology and immunology, which remain unchanged.

Matt Fellows

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