Amgen and Zhejiang Beta Pharma have signed an agreement to form a joint venture to commercialize Amgen's Vectibix (panitumumab) in the Chinese market. The aim is to quickly and efficiently deliver Vectibix to patients in China. Vectibix is a fully human anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody approved by FDA for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.
Founded in 2003, Zhejiang Beta Pharma is headquartered in Hang-Zhou with R&D operations in Beijing. It has fully integrated capabilities that include GMP manufacture, sales and marketing. Zhejiang Beta Pharma's expertise in the development and commercialization of molecularly targeted therapies as well as its oncology sales network in China will be of benefit to this joint venture. The company's capabilities complement Amgen's global expertise in the development and manufacturing of human therapeutics.
The joint venture will be named Amgen-Beta Pharmaceuticals, with the Chinese partner owning 51% of the venture while Amgen keeps 49%. According to the press release, its establishment is subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, including the approval of relevant government authorities in China.
"This joint venture brings us one step closer to providing Chinese patients with Amgen's medicines and supports our strategy of expanding in key, fast-growing markets," said Anthony C. Hooper, executive vice president at Amgen, in a press statement.
"Our partnership with Amgen will be of long-term strategic significance not only for Zhejiang Province, but also for the whole medical community in China," said Lieming Ding, chairman of Zhejiang Beta Pharma. "We share Amgen's passion for developing molecularly targeted therapies for unmet medical needs, and are confident that together we can help many Chinese patients who suffer from colorectal cancer."