Dr. Reddy's to form follow-on biologics joint venture

HYDERABAD, India Dr Reddy’s, India’s third-biggest drug maker, is forming a joint venture with an as-yet-unnamed biotech company to make biosimilars in competition with Ranbaxy Laboratories, Reliance Life Sciences and other Indian companies, as several biologics come off-patent in the next five years.

“The joint venture will be in place during the current fiscal year,” G V Prasad, Dr. Reddy’s vice-chairman and chief executive officer, told India’s Business Standard. “The partner will have the technological expertise and global reach on developing biosimilars, which is a high-reward, high-risk business.”

The partners would initially focus on potential areas such as off-patent biotech cancer drugs and were planning to work initially on about eight potential products, said Prasad. “It is too early to reveal more on the ongoing discussions and modalities of the proposed joint venture,” he added.

Dr Reddy’s has a biologics development center in Hyderabad, with a 250-member scientific team, and has already developed and launched a few biogenerics, including Reditux, a generic version of Roche’s Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma drug. The combined market for biosimilars, also known as follow-on biologicals, is expected to touch $21 billion by 2015 in the United States and Europe.

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