Quintiles is partnering with Samsung Group on a $266 million initiative to bring the South Korean conglomerate into the drug manufacturing business.
Durham, N.C.-based Quintiles provides an array of services for pharmaceutical companes and is the largest contract research organization in the industry. Quintiles spokesman Phil Bridges said that the company’s involvement with Samsung is a $30 million stake in the effort.
Samsung, a diversified company whose businesses include consumer electronics, insurance and shipbuilding, last spring announced plans to add biopharmaceutical manufacturing to its portfolio.
Samsung said that it plans for a South Korean factory that will produce biosimilar drugs to treat cancer and arthritis. Ground breaking is scheduled for May and operations are expected to launch in April 2013.
Quintiles has established several partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, such as Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), that go beyond the traditional CRO role of providing outsourced pharmaceutical services. But Bridges said it is unusual for Quintiles to be working with a company such as Samsung that is not already a pharmaceuticals player. While Bridges would not say that this is the only partnership Quintiles has outside the life sciences space, he said the Samsung arrangement “is pretty unique for us.”
Bridges said Quintiles can help Samsung get into what for the South Korean conglomerate is a completely new market in life sciences. Quintiles has had a presence in South Korea since 2000 and currently employs about 100 people there. But although Quintiles has conducted more than 100 drug studies in South Korea in the last decade, Bridges said that as of now, Quintiles’ contribution is only financial and applies only to Samsung’s pharmaceutical manufacturing plans.