Another Biosimilar Product Setback? Lonza Inc. Rethinking Pact With Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
Published: Apr 01, 2013
Swiss specialty chemicals and life sciences group Lonza is reviewing whether it is still worth investing in its joint venture with Teva in "biosimilar" drugs, its Chief Executive said. The expiry of patents on expensive biotech medicines to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases is opening up a new market for lower-cost copies known as "biosimilars" because they are not identical matches of branded medicines. But uncertainty over the regulatory framework for such drugs in the United States as well as the defense strategies from innovator companies have caused delays and prompted some developers to halt projects. Lonza joined forces with Israel's Teva in 2009 to develop biosimilars but suspended its late-stage trial for a biosimilar version of Roche's drug MabThera last October to seek input from regulators on how to proceed.