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Biogen's biosimilars shot

Biogen Idec's biosimilars deal based on Samsung track record in joint ventures

Six months after telling investors it intended to strike a biosimilars deal that wouldn't distract it from its core business, Biogen Idec Inc. announced a JV with Samsung Group that will tap into the biotech's manufacturing prowess immediately with the option to become more involved later.

Samsung is a newcomer to biotherapeutics, but Biogen Idec liked the Korean conglomerate's determination to enter biosimilars, the resources it has committed to the effort and its track record of entering new businesses.

In March 2010, Samsung disclosed its intention to invest W2.1 trillion ($2 billion) in developing biosimilars over 10 years, with the expectation of W1.8 trillion in annual revenues by 2020.

Its first step came this February, when Samsung announced a JV with Quintiles Transnational Corp. to

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