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BioLogics wins patent complaint against Lonza

Oct 02,2019
Samsung BioLogics has won a complaint against Switzerland-based Lonza to nullify its patents on cell line developing technology in Korea.

The victory is a major win for the biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group that has been looking to expand its contract manufacturing business.

The Korean biopharmaceutical company announced in a statement Tuesday the Intellectual Property Tribunal (IPT) ruled on Aug. 29 that Lonza’s patent for technology on making a vector for transferring a gene (DNA) developed for producing an antibody into a cell line, a critical first step in developing new drugs, is no longer valid.

The IPT ruled that Lonza’s patented technology does not possess novelty as it is vastly similar to previous technologies, adding that the technology is easy for any technician to invent. Lonza can appeal the decision until the end of this month.

After launching as a contract development organization (CDO) in 2017, Samsung BioLogics requested an invalidation action against the Lonza patent later in July that year to clear obstacles for it to develop its own cell line.

The company said the patent had already become invalid in Europe, the United States and Japan but remained in power for countries like Korea, India and China that have yet to reach the leading status in the biotech sector.

By scoring the win, Samsung BioLogics is given wider options in developing its basis cells and is clear of infringing patent rights for Lonza.

Samsung BioLogics said the victory will also help the company expand beyond being a CDO into a contract development and manufacturing organization moving forward.

The latest news helps Samsung BioLogics extend its cell line development portfolio and possibly attract more clients.

As of September, the company signed 34 CDO contracts with companies like Eutilex, GI Innovation and ImmuneOncia. Samsung BioLogics also announced in August that it has rolled out a new cell cultivation system that could reduce cell production time for its clients by up to 30 percent.

The company’s bio manufacturing plant in Songdo, Incheon, which commenced operations in October last year, is now capable of cutting production time by up to 30 percent and allows its customers more choice in choosing manufacturing options.

The company added that the court case provides more research and development freedom for the local biopharmaceutical industry as a whole, which has been suffering from a series of setbacks in developing and testing drug candidates.

With the news of the victory, Samsung BioLogics’ shares rose 5.04 percent Tuesday to 323,000 won ($269).

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]