Pfizer snaps insulin marketing deal with Biocon

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 13, 2012 16:00 hrs

Bangalore, March 13 (IANS) US drug major Pfizer Tuesday terminated its $350-million marketing alliance with Biocon Ltd to sell the leading Indian biotech firm's diabetes treatment insulin worldwide.

As a result, all rights licensed to Pfizer will revert to Biocon and its insulin distributed under the brand name Univia and Glarvia will hereafter be exclusively manufactured and marketed by the Bangalore-based firm.

"The companies have agreed to move forward independently due to individual priorities for their respective biosimilars businesses," Biocon and Pfizer said in a joint statement here.

As part of the deal entered in October 2010, Pfizer paid $200 million to Biocon in advance to sell the latter's biosimilar versions of insulin and agreed to pay an additional $150 million towards development and regulatory costs related to the drug sales.

Following the termination, Biocon will retain a major amount Pfizer paid upfront, but will forfeit the balance payment ($150 million) that was due from regulatory costs and sales.

"We remain committed to delivering our biosimilar insulins portfolio to global markets to make a difference to diabetic patients across emerging and developed economies," Biocon chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said in the statement.

Biocon will explore new alliances in other markets in addition to working with its present partners in different geographies to sell its biosimilars medicines.

"As we are committed to ensuring continuity of patient care, we will work together to effect a seamless transition," both the firms affirmed.

Pfizer general manager Diem Nguyen said the company would develop a range of biosimilars, including monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins products internally and through collaborations.

"We will also be active in research and business development efforts for diabetes, which represents a huge unmet medical need, and seek new solutions to help physicians and patients," Nguyen noted.

The $14-billion global insulin market is dominated by Sanofi, Eli Lilly & Co and Novo Nordisk,.

More from Sify: