As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the generic drug company, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is to team up with Merck Serono’s biopharmaceutical division to develop biosimilars to be sold in the U.S, Europe and Japan.
The partnership will see the two companies co-develop a portfolio of biosimilars and will focus mainly on monoclonal antibodies. Dr Reddys and Merck Serono will work together to co-develop, manufacture and commercialise the compounds around the world.
Dr Reddy’s are a leader in the development of biosimilars and their partnership with Merck Serono will further strengthen their presence in the biosimilar space in emerging markets.
The deal will seek to benefit from a new market due to patents on biotech drugs expiring. Historically, these medicines have been safe from generic competition, however, the development of biosimilar versions of these drugs could mean that high quality, low cost versions of the biotechnology drugs will soon become widely available.
Merck is hoping to protect itself from this risk by collaborating with Dr Reddy’s to develop co-molecules. Under the
agreement, Dr Reddy’s will lead the early product development and complete Phase 1 development, before handing it over to Merck for manufacturing and late-stage Phase III trials.