Lonza will collaborate with Teva on the development, manufacture and marketing of a portfolio of biosimilars, which they hope will put them in a strong position to succeed when a regulatory pathway is implemented.
The biosimilars market looks set to boom with the incoming US administration prioritising the creation of a regulatory pathway and major players, such as Merck – details here, setting up units to develop products.
Shlomo Yanai, Teva’s president and CEO, said: "We had identified biosimilars as a major growth driver for Teva in our long-term strategy and have been augmenting our knowledge base, capabilities and infrastructure to position Teva as a leader in this market.
“This strategic partnership bolsters our biologics capabilities. Lonza is an ideal partner for Teva in this field with its deep knowledge and experience in biopharmaceutical development, large scale manufacturing and state of the art manufacturing facilities.”
Under the terms of the venture Teva and Lonza will collaborate on a selected portfolio of biogenerics. Names of the selected products and financial details of the deal are not being disclosed.
By defining the range of products they will collaborate the two companies have retained the ability to pursue biosimilar opportunities outside the scope of the venture independently or in other partnerships.
Bigger risks, bigger gains
Biosimilars are expected to be significantly more complicated to manufacture and bring to market than small-molecule generics and consequently Teva has opted to tap into Lonza’s expertise. In return Lonza has gained a partner with extensive experience in the marketing of generics.
The challenges posed by biosimilars are predicted to result in the market having a different composition than that of small-molecule generics.
Barriers to entry will be significantly higher, as may profit margins, and this could attract branded pharmaceutical companies as well as the generics giants.