Novartis ties a new round of biosimilar development programs to a partnership deal with India's Biocon
Just a few weeks after Biocon and their partners at Mylan worked out an FDA approval for the first Herceptin biosimilar, the Indian company has struck a wide ranging development deal with Novartis’ generics arm.
Biocon and Sandoz — which has already developed a slate of 5 biologic knockoffs — will go to work on immunology and oncology programs together. They plan to share development, manufacturing and regulatory costs while splitting the profits on “a number” of new therapies.
Biocon has been a busy player in the growing biosimilars arena. Led by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon has launched its insulin glargine in Japan as well as trastuzumab and bevacizumab biosimilars in India and some emerging markets.
It’s not a cheap proposition. While developers can essentially start in Phase III, they still have to prove the similarity between the knockoff and the original, a process which Mazumdar-Shaw estimates costs $100 million to $200 million for each project.
The CEO noted:
This synergistic partnership will enable us to scale up our capabilities for an “end to end” play in the global biosimilars space. We remain committed to pursue our mission of developing biopharmaceuticals that have the potential to benefit a billion patients across the globe.