(ATTN: ADDS contract with U.S.-based company in paras 5-6)
SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top pharmaceutical firm, Samsung Biologics Co., said Friday it has signed a tieup deal with multinational drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc. (GSK) to manufacture a GSK biosimilar product.
Under the contract manufacturing organization (CMO) agreement, Samsung Biologics will commercially produce GSK's lupus treatment, Benlysta, starting in 2022.
The eight-year contract is valued at more than US$231 million, Samsung Biologics said, adding both sides could expand the partnership if need be.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which a person's immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues and organs.
The local drugmaker also said it secured a $150 million CMO deal with a U.S. partner to make biodrugs. Samsung said details on this contract will be made public on Dec. 31, 2023, in accordance with the nondisclosure agreement reached. It said depending on further talks, the total size of the pact could rise to $222 million.
The two latest deals push up the number of orders won by the pharmaceutical firm to four, with the value of those deals coming to just under 1.1 trillion won (US$887 million), which is 156 percent larger than all its contracts signed for the whole of 2019.
Samsung Biologics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea's largest conglomerate Samsung Group, was established in 2011 and was listed on the main bourse five years later.
Along with CMO, Samsung Biologics engages in contract development organization (CDO) and contract research organization (CRO) sectors. It has three plants in Incheon, west of Seoul, which can crank out 362,000 liters of biosimilars per year, the world's largest production capacity.
Shares in Samsung Biologics rose 1.48 percent to close at 618,000 won ($499) on the Seoul bourse, outperforming the broader KOSPI's 1.41 percent decline. The deal's announcement was made before the market closed.