Companies will market each other’s products and aim to forge manufacturing links.

Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (SOBI) and Dongbao inked a reciprocal marketing deal under which SOBI would be the first-choice partner for Dongbao’s pipeline of biopharmaceuticals and other drugs in Europe, and Dongbao would be the marketing and sales partner of choice for SOBI’s marketed and pipeline products in China. SOBI says it also aims to further strengthen its collaboration with Dongbao and with its Swedish manufacturing affiliate, Rechon Life Science.

SOBI and Dongbao in addition confirmed that they are in the process of negotiations through which SOBI would secure exclusive European marketing and sales rights to Dongbao’s iron sucrose product, and Dongbao would secure exclusive Chinese marketing and sales rights to SOBI’s Kineret® and Kiobrina® products. Kineret is a marketed anticytokine injectable protein drug used in combination with methotrexate to treat rheumatoid arthritis. SOBI negotiated a worldwide license to the drug from Amgen in 2008.

Kiobrina is a recombinant human bile-salt-stimulated lipase in development for the treatment of fat malabsorption in premature infants. Positive data from Phase II trials in which Kiobrina was added to infant milk formula were reported in April. SOBI has confirmed its intention to take the product into Phase III development.

 “We see Dongbao as the perfect partner to help SOBI to realize the significant opportunity for our products in the Chinese market,” commented Martin Nicklasson Ph.D., SOBI CEO. “Additionally, we are excited about gaining access to Dongbao’s pipeline of high-value biosuperiors. We look forward to working with these products over the long term to realize the full commercial potential of these products in Europe.”

Founded in 1985, Dongbao Enterprise Group is an industrial group with more than 20 subsidiaries. In the mid-1990s the firm expanded its pharmaceutical R&D to include a range of recombinant biopharmaceuticals, and in particular recombinant human insulin products. The firm’s recombinant product portfolio includes ready-to-use insulin injections and bulk recombinant human insulin crystals.

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