Aurobindo Pharma buys four biosimilar drugs from TL Biopharmaceutical

Drugmaker Aurobindo Pharma Ltd has bought four biosimilar products from Swiss firm TL Biopharmaceutical AG, marking its entry into the evolving biosimilar space, a company statement said. Three of the four biosimilars are monoclonal antibodies in oncology and the regulatory filing for the products will take place between 2020 and 2022, it added.

TL will supply developmental data for all four molecules and Aurobindo will develop, commercialise and market the products globally, the statement added. It, however, did not disclose the financial details. “This acquisition is in-line with our strategy of investing in complex products and is an important first step towards establishing Aurobindo’s global biosimilars portfolio,” said N. Govindarajan, Managing Director, Aurobindo.

Aurobindo is already preparing for clinical trials of one of the products – Bevacizumab – this year. Bevacizumab is an anti-antiogenesis drug used in treating multiple-cancers, including metastatic colon or rectal cancer, non-squamous and non-small cell lung cancers. The company is also expanding its diverse portfolio of eight more next-wave biosimilars as it builds on these first four products licensed from TL, the statement said.

The Indian pharmaceuticals sector has largely been dominated by manufacturing of generic drugs for decades and is emerging as an important player in the biosimilars market. Unlike generic drugs, biosimilars are more difficult to make and cannot be replicated exactly because they face close regulatory scrutiny.

Aurobindo has a fully functional R&D centre for biologics development in Hyderabad. By July-September, it is also have a state-of-art manufacturing facility in the vicinity. Biocon Ltd, Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd and Intas Pharamceuticals Ltd are major players in the biosimilars space.

This acquisition comes less than a month after Aurobindo agreeing to acquire Portugal-based pharmaceuticals products and supplier Generis Farmaceutica SA from private equity firm Magnum Capital Partners for €135 million (Rs 969 crore or $142 million) in an all-cash deal. 

Aurobindo, headquartered in Hyderabad, exports to over 150 countries across the globe with more than 87% of its revenues derived out of international operations, according to its annual report for 2015-16. The drugmaker saw its consolidated revenues rise to Rs 13,896.08 crore for 2015-16, having grown at 33.4% CAGR over the past three years.

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