South Korea’s Samsung BioLogics Co., the fast-growing biopharmaceutical business arm of Samsung Group, is taking up on the world’s only contract development and manufacturing organization Lonza by filing a lawsuit to nullify the Switzerland-based company’s patent related to commercial manufacturing of antibody agents..
Maeil Business Newspaper learned that Samsung BioLogics filed a suit in local patent court on Monday, seeking revocation of Lonza’s patent registration of the mammalian expression vector comprising the mcmv promoter and first intron of hcmv major immediate early gene.
The move suggests Samsung BioLogics’ intention to add contract drug development services to its business portfolio that currently focuses on contract manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products.
Samsung BioLogics has achieved what multinational pharmaceutical firms have achieved over 30 years in just seven years, catching up fast with Lonza in CMO and is poised to offer a CDO service.
To produce antibody drugs, a cell line must be created by introducing therapeutic DNA into target cells. A cell line is a permanently established cell culture that will proliferate indefinitely given appropriate fresh medium and space. A protein called vector (intermediate) is required to ensure the DNA delivery and the cell line’s growth. Lonza’s patent is related to a basic intermediate among many vectors.
This vector can be easily created with widely known technology, which is no longer recognized as patent in advanced countries. Samsung BioLogics said the patent is already dysfunctional as the patent was waived in the U.S., almost withdrawn in Europe and rejected in Japan, but it still remains effective only in a few countries including Korea, India and China.
By Shin Chan-ok
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