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Lonza ends biosimilars deal with Teva

Chemical firm cuts losses after four-year development deal

Lonza building 

Teva and Lonza have agreed to terminate a deal to develop a series of biologics, including biosimilars.

In the chemical company's second quarter financial statement, Lonza said it made the decision following a strategic review of the joint venture, which was agreed in 2009.

Little has been heard about the deal in the past four years, and it seems Lonza is keen to cut short its losses, with the decision to end the agreement meaning the company is able to save 150m Swiss francs over the next three years.

“In all these actions, our aim is to secure Lonza's long-term sustainable growth and to serve our customers with a sound and innovative portfolio and the most robust and efficient network possible,” said Lonza's CEO Richard Ridinger.

The company's chief operating officer for pharma and biotech Dr Stephan Kutzer confirmed this view, claiming that biosimilars – copies of off-patent biological medicines – were not integral to the company's life sciences efforts.

“In our assessment those investments in biosimilar will require more capital than initially planned and will also take more time until they reach the market,” he said.

“This is why we intend in the future to limit our role by focusing on our core expertise in the areas of contract manufacturing and cell line development.”

It's a different mood at Teva, however, with the Israeli company keen to make benefit from a burgeoning biosimilar market that is expected to reach $2.45bn this year and then continue to grow as more biological medicines face patent expiries and regulatory environments for biosimilars improve across the world.

“Teva has a track record of success in the biologics arena and we plan to continue and build on that success,” explained Dr Michael Hayden, Teva's president, global R&D and chief science officer.

Teva's current efforts in the area include tbo-filgrastim - a biosimilar version of Amgen's Neupogen, which is approved for use  to hasten recovery from instances of neutropaenia in certain cancer patients.

26th July 2013

From: Research

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