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Pharmaceuticals

Alzheimer's trials: Samsung biotech arm joins Taiwan startup

South Korean company seeks to move further up the value chain

Samsung Biologics, a leading South Korean company by market capitalization, plans to build a research center in California as it expands beyond contract manufacturing. (Photo courtesy of Samsung Biologics)

SEOUL -- Samsung Biologics looks to develop a treatment for Alzheimer's disease in partnership with Taiwanese startup Aprinoia Therapeutics, as the South Korean manufacturer moves further up the value chain to attract new clients.

Aprinoia is working on an Alzheimer's treatment, with plans for clinical trials in Taiwan and Japan. The company thinks Samsung Biologics can help with the trials and the development of mass production capabilities.

The Samsung Group arm focuses on contract manufacturing of biologic treatments. Many pharmaceutical companies outsource production of these drugs, which target proteins and genetic material that cause illnesses. These drugs are difficult to reliably mass-produce.

Samsung Biologics has made inroads into contract development as well, including through the Aprinoia tie-up. The South Korean company plans to build a research center in California this summer, where it will work with clients to study techniques for growing cell cultures, which are critical to producing biologics.

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