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Pfizer enters deal on biosimilar insulin

Pfizer has entered into a deal with India-based biotech company Biocon for the global commercialisation of several Biocon biosimilars

Pfizer has entered into a deal with the Bangalore, India-based  biotech company Biocon for the global commercialisation of Biocon's biosimilar versions of the insulin and insulin analog products glargine (which sanofi-aventis sells under the brandname Lantus), Aspart (sold by Novo Nordisk as Novolog)  and Lispro (sold by Lilly as Humalog). 

The partnership is aimed primarily at selling inexpensive insulin products in developing countries, where the burden of diabetes is growing. In announcing the deal, the companies cited statistics from the World Health Organization estimating that 70 per cent of people with diabetes live in low-income and middle-income countries, with India alone accounting for 40 million patients.  

The deal gives Pfizer exclusive rights to commercialise the products globally, except in Germany, India and Malaysia, where the company has co-exclusive rights with Biocon, as well as in some developing markets where Pfizer will have co-exclusive rights with existing Biocon licensees for certain products.

In return, Pfizer will make upfront payments totaling $200m and may pay development and regulatory milestones totaling another $150m. Biocon will also receive payments linked to Pfizer's sales of the biosimilar products.

Biocon will continue to be responsible for clinical development, manufacture and supply, and regulatory activities.  The company said its recombinant human insulin formulations have been approved in 27 countries in developing markets, and commercialised in 23, while its biosimilar version of glargine has this far only been approved and launched in India. 

Pfizer said the partnership supports its previously announced goal of strengthening its presence in both diabetes and follow-on biologics. The company said it intends to grow its follow-on biologics business through in-house development efforts as well as through partnerships like the one with Biocon.

18th October 2010

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