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Synthon prevails over Copaxone patent dispute

On 13 September 2017, the Technical Board of Appeal (TBA) of the European Patent Office (EPO) revoked the patent for Teva Pharmaceutical’s (Teva) synthesis of the active ingredient in Copaxone, a key drug used to treat recurring multiple sclerosis (MS). The case against Israel-based Teva was filed by the Netherlands-based generics and biopharmaceuticals company Synthon BV, who is now clear to market their generic glatiramer acetate in a number of European countries.

Amgen and Simcere to collaborate on copy biologicals in China

Biotech giant Amgen and China-based Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (Simcere) announced on 26 September 2017 that they have made an exclusive agreement to co-develop and commercialize four copy biologicals in China.

Fresenius Kabi acquires Merck KGaA’s biosimilars business

Fresenius Kabi, one of the independently operated business segments of global healthcare group Fresenius, announced on 1 September 2017 that it had ‘successfully closed the acquisition of Merck KGaA’s biosimilars business’.

Generics in Greece most expensive in the EU and uptake remain low

Despite being one of Europe’s poorest countries, Greece continues to spend on expensive patented drugs and only a quarter of medicines prescribed in the country are generics, according to recent analysis by Politico.

Daiichi Sankyo ends deal with Coherus for etanercept biosimilar in Japan

Daiichi Sankyo announced on 5 July 2017 that it was ending its co-development in Japan with Coherus BioSciences (Coherus) of a biosimilar to Amgen’s arthritis drug Enbrel (etanercept).

German drugmaker Stada to be sold for over US$5 billion

After months of discussions, German generics firm Stada has announced that it will be sold for US$5.63 billion to private equity firms Bain Capital and Cinven.

Japan’s Sawai to acquire US generics business Upsher-Smith

Sawai Pharmaceutical Company Ltd (Sawai) has signed an agreement to purchase the generics section of US firm Upsher-Smith in an attempt to enter the vast American pharmaceuticals market. 

Fresenius Kabi to acquire Akorn and Merck KGaA’s biosimilars business

Fresenius Kabi, one of the independently operated business segments of global healthcare group Fresenius, announced on 24 April 2017 that it had made two deals ‘to strengthen and diversify’ its business.

Samsung BioLogics and Aurobindo investing in biosimilars

Both Samsung and Aurobindo see a bright future for biosimilars. Samsung BioLogics, which is the specialized biotechnology arm of Samsung, raised almost US$2 billion in November 2016 via an initial public offering (IPO) that valued the company at US$7.9 billion. This, according to Robert Wessman, Chairman and CEO at Alvogen, ‘underlines the confidence of the market in biosimilar companies’. Especially when considering that Samsung BioLogics only came into existence in 2011 [1].

Merck KGaA to sell off biosimilars business

Germany’s drugmaker Merck KGaA (Merck Group) is to sell its biosimilars division, according to a statement made in its 2016 annual report.

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