(ATTN: ADDS more info, share price in last 2 paras)
SEOUL, May 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top pharmaceutical firm, Samsung Biologics Co., said Friday it has signed a tieup deal with multinational drug maker GlaxoSmithKline Plc. (GSK) to manufacture a GSK biosimilar product.
Under the contract manufacturing organization (CMO) agreement, Samsung Biologics will commercially produce GSK's lupus treatment, Benlysta, starting in 2022.
The eight-year contract is valued at more than US$231 million, Samsung Biologics said, adding both sides could expand the partnership if need be.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which a person's immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues and organs.
Samsung Biologics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea's largest conglomerate Samsung Group, was established in 2011 and got listed on the main bourse five years later.
Along with CMO, Samsung Biologics engages in contract development organization (CDO) and contract research organization (CRO) sectors. It has three plants in Incheon, west of Seoul, which can crank out 362,000 liters of biosimilars per year, the world's largest.
Shares in Samsung Biologics rose 1.48 percent to close at 618,000 won ($499) on the Seoul bourse, outperforming the broader KOSPI's 1.41 percent decline. The deal's announcement was made before the market closed.
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