Samsung BioLogics denied a media report Thursday that the South Korean company was in talks to buy US drugmaker Biogen Inc.
Korea Economic Daily reported Wednesday, citing investment banking sources, that Biogen had approached Samsung to buy its shares, which could be valued at more than $42 billion. According to data from Refinitiv, Biogen is valued at $34.67 billion.
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Samsung BioLogics, the biotech unit of Samsung Group, said in a regulatory filing that the report was “not true,” without giving more details.
Biogen said it does not comment on market rumors or speculation. The stock closed 9.5% higher on Wednesday.
Such a deal would be the largest overseas acquisition ever by a South Korean company. The biggest to date was in 2016, when Samsung Electronics bought auto electronics maker Harman International Industries for an $8 billion deal.
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Samsung Group had said earlier this year that it will invest 240 trillion won ($206 billion) over the next three years to expand its footprint in biopharmaceuticals, artificial intelligence, semiconductors and robotics in the post-pandemic era.
In June, Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug won US regulatory approval and became the first new treatment for the memory-depriving disease in nearly 20 years, despite an outside advisory panel’s opinion that the company had failed to prove the treatment’s clinical benefits.
Biogen has bet on the drug, Aduhelm, to buffer a hit as key revenue sources, such as the treatment of multiple sclerosis Tecfidera and the treatment of muscle disease Spinraza, face increasing competition.
But sales of Aduhelm in the US have been slower than expected, as hospitals complained that the drug’s high cost was not worth the benefits. The company cut its price by about half this month to $28,200.
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Biogen, which makes drugs for neurological disorders, currently has more than 30 new drugs in the pipeline.
(Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru and Joyce Lee in Seoul; editing by Shinjini Ganguli)