CCM invests into PanGen: Biosimilars

Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCM) has accelerated its foray into the biosimilars business with the purchase of an 11.6 per cent equity stake in PanGen Biotech, Inc, (PanGen) a Korean biotechnology company.

The investment concluded through a share purchase agreement signed on 26 December 2013 also gives CCM exclusive marketing and commercialization rights in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei for all biosimilar products developed by PanGen.

“The investment reaffirms CCM’s Pharmaceuticals Division’s commitment into biotechnology and specifically biosimilars, which are follow-on versions of existing biopharmaceutical products whose patents have expired,” said Encik Amirul Feisal Bin Wan Zahir, Group Managing Director of CCM.

PanGen is not a stranger to CCM as it is already a partner in historic joint Phase III clinical trials for an Erythropoietin (EPO) biosimilar developed for use in the treatment of anemia in end stage kidney failure patients,” he added. The Clinical trial is currently underway and is aimed at assessing the safety and efficacy of the EPO biosimilars in patients with anemia arising from chronic renal failure.

The biosimilars business, which is dominated by global pharmaceutical players, is expected to expand at a compounded average growth rate of 12 per cent in Asia to an estimated RM8 billion in the South East Asia region by 2020.

In this regard, CCM’s equity stake in PanGen allows its Pharmaceuticals Division to have a strategic access to a biosimilars pipeline that is being produced as there are very few start-up biological companies globally with the expertise, track record and range of cell lines already developed by PanGen.

This latest development will also propel the CCM Group to compete for high value added partnership in the commercialization of biosimilars while eliminating the need to invest in very expensive clinical trials and long gestation periods to deliver the product to market.


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