Apotex and Intas Biopharmaceuticals extend their collaborative development of biosimilars to include Peg filgrastim
Posted on: January 2009
Ahmedabad / Toronto, January 29, 2009:
Apotex Inc. of Canada and Intas Biopharmaceuticals Limited (IBPL) of India have extended their agreement to develop a biosimilar version of pegfilgrastim, a protein that is used to treat neutropenia (a side effect of cancer chemotherapy). Neupeg™, a recombinant pegylated granulocyte colony stimulating factor is already manufactured and marketed in India and other countries by IBPL. The product is marketed by Amgen in North America and Europe under the name of Neulasta™ with sales of around $3.5 billion. This collaboration gives Apotex the rights to market the product in North America (US and Canada), Europe and selected other countries and comes after the announcement in May 2008 where the two companies entered into a similar agreement to develop filgrastim, also known as G-CSF, for the same markets.
Apotex, one of the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world, has a strong registration, marketing & distribution team while IBPL, being a quality driven organization, offers a unique competitive advantage in terms of R&D and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. The deal offers immense growth opportunities for both, Apotex and IBPL, as they look to consolidate their presence in the global biosimilars market. With changing political and diplomatic scenario in US, both the companies expect speedy implementation of legislation related to biosimilars, which is much awaited development from industry fraternity across the globe.
Dr. Jeremy B. Desai, Apotex Executive Vice President, Research & Development said “This agreement represents an important milestone for Apotex, as it continues to build the organization’s biosimilars pipeline.”
Speaking on the development, Mr. Mani Iyer, Executive Director, IBPL, adds “This agreement is a step forward to the vision that we all work for - to become a global biopharmaceutical company. This will provide accessibility of Neupeg™ to people outside of the subcontinent, who are currently relying heavily on innovator’s brand and other substitutes.”
About Apotex Inc.
Apotex Inc. is the largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical company, employing over 6,800 people in research, development, manufacturing and distribution facilities world-wide. Apotex produces more than 300 generic molecules in a variety of different presentations which, in Canada, are used to fill over 80 million prescriptions a year - the largest amount of any pharmaceutical company in this country. In the next 10 years, Apotex will spend $2 Billion in R&D and has presently over 600 products under development.
About Intas Biopharmaceuticals Limited
Since launch of biotechnology operations in May 2000, research & development, manufacturing and marketing of biopharmaceutical products, with a special focus on Oncology (Cancer), are major thrust areas for IBPL. The company is India’s first and only biopharmaceuticals manufacturing company to receive European Union – Good Manufacturing Practice (EU-GMP) certification and South African Medicines Control Council certification for GMP. Today, Intas Biopharmaceuticals Limited is the sole manufacturer to commercialize pegylated GCSF and markets under the brand name “NEUPEG™”. IBPL has launched four biosimilar products Neukine™ (rHu G-CSF), Erykine™ / Epofit™ (rHu EPO), Intalfa™ (rHu IFN Alfa-2b) and Neupeg™ (rHu Peg GCSF) and marketing in India and international markets. The company is working on seven more biosimilar products, which will be launched in next 3 years in various markets.