South Korean biotech firm Samsung Bioepis is expanding into the global market with SB11, a biosimilar drug used to treat ophthalmologic diseases such as macular degeneration.
According to industry sources on Sunday, SB11 was introduced to the Canadian market last Wednesday through its partner company Biogen, following an earlier launch in Germany on Feb. 23.
SB11 references Lucentis, a drug developed by global pharmaceutical company Genentech. It received sales approval in Europe and the US under the name Byooviz and in Korea as Ameliv.
After the launch of the biosimilar in the US last June, Samsung Bioepis pulled in a total of $4.3 million in sales in the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, on its home turf, the company entered a marketing partnership with Samil Pharmaceutical and launched the product last January.
In order to expand patient accessibility, the maximum price limit for the product was decreased by 24 percent from 460,000 won ($353) to 350,000 won in agreement with its partner firm, the company said.
Bioepis plans to gradually bring SB11 to North American and European markets. Specific launch dates are different for each country according to the licensing contract that it co-signed with Genentech, the company explained.
It added that it is currently preparing to request global sales approval for another biosimilar, Eylea, that will likewise be used for treating ophthalmologic conditions.