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GEN News Highlights : Mar 13, 2012

Pfizer, Biocon End Insulin Biosimilars Partnership

Firms cite differing priorities that favor independence.

Pfizer and India’s Biocon ended their collaboration to commercialize the latter’s biosimilar insulin and insulin analog products. The firms cite as their reason the “individual priorities for their respective biosimilars businesses,” which means they feel it “is in their best interest to move forward independently.” Whether this relates to conflict of interest or divergent interests isn’t stated.

Pfizer and Biocon signed their global insulin biosimilars agreement back in October 2010 with $200 million up front. The deal covered Biocon’s biosimilar versions of insulin and insulin analog products, recombinant human insulin, glargine, aspart, and lispro. The terms granted Pfizer exclusive rights to commercialize these products globally, with certain exceptions. Biocon retained responsibility for clinical development, regulatory activities, manufacture, and supply of the products .

Having terminated the agreement, all rights previously licensed to Pfizer will now be transferred back to Biocon. The Indian biotech will also now take over sole responsibility for manufacturing, supplying, and marketing the Univia™ and Glarvia™ insulin brands.

“Biocon remains committed to delivering its biosimilar insulins portfolio to global markets,” remarks Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the firm’s chairman and M.D. “Biocon will continue to work with its existing partners in several markets and will pursue a commercial strategy on its own and through new alliances in other markets.” Pfizer, too, has reiterated its commitment to developing biosimilars both in-house and through collaborations. The firm will in addition continue its own diabetes R&D.