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New biosimilars partnerships from Alvotech and Biocon Posted 13/03/2020

Alvotech has formed an exclusive partnership with JAMP Pharma (JAMP) for the commercialization of its biosimilars in Canada, while Biocon has expanded its collaboration with Equillium to include Australia and New Zealand.

Alvotech, the Icelandic arm of the American company Alvogen, announced in January 2020 an agreement with private Canadian company JAMP for the supply and commercialization of five biosimilars in Canada.

Under the agreement, Alvotech will be responsible for development of the biosimilars while JAMP will be able to commercialize the biosimilars in Canada. The biosimilar candidates have an estimated sales value of over CA$2 billion per year.

CEO of Alvotech Mark Levick said: ‘With JAMP’s strong commercial background and experience within the Canadian market, we have further opened our network to help realize our continued goals, which is to benefit patients and give them access to high quality biosimilar medicines’.

JAMP will have over 500 generics in its portfolio by 2022 but currently has only six biosimilars in its short-term new product portfolio. CEO of JAMP Pharma Group, Louis Pilon, said the partnership will help JAMP to become a bigger player in the biosimilars market.

‘We are thrilled with this partnership, as it will allow the JAMP Pharma Group to become a major player and partner in this market while continuing to expand our traditional generic portfolio’.

The agreement follows a previous commercialization agreement, which was made between the two companies in October 2019, to distribute and market Alvogen’s teriparatide biosimilar (PF708) in Canada [1].

In related news, Indian company Biocon has announced an expansion of its agreement with US immunology specialists Equillium. The extended agreement will give Equillium exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the monoclonal antibody itolizumab in Australia and New Zealand. Equillium gained the exclusive rights to itolizumab for the US and Canada in 2017.

Itolizumab regulates T-cell activation and has shown efficacy in treating psoriasis in clinical trials. The drug has been available in India under the brand name ALZUMAb since 2013. Ongoing clinical trials are assessing efficacy in asthma, graft-versus-host disease and inflammation of the kidney caused by lupus. The drug has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Fast Track designation for the latter two indications.

Of the extension to the agreement, Biocon CEO Siddarth Mittal said: ‘Biocon is pleased with the development progress of itolizumab achieved by Equillium so far and has agreed to include Australia and New Zealand within the scope of the licensing agreement’.

Bruce Steel, President and Chief Business Officer of Equillium, added: ‘We are pleased to deepen our relationship with Biocon by expanding our licensing agreement for itolizumab. Securing these rights helps strengthen and build upon our existing presence in Australia and New Zealand where we are collaborating with distinguished asthma centers and specialists to conduct the EQUIP clinical trial in uncontrolled asthma patients’.

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Reference
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Alvogen gains exclusive rights to market parathyroid biosimilar in three countries [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2020 Mar 13]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Pharma-News/Alvogen-gains-exclusive-rights-to-market-parathyroid-biosimilar-in-three-countries

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Source: Biocon, Equillium

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