Celltrion and Hospira to Comarket Celltrion's Biosimilars

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The Korean CMO Celltrion and Hospira, a small-molecule injectable generics and drug delivery company based in Lake Forest, IL, agree to co-market biosimilars developed by Celltrion.

The contract manufacturing organization Celltrion (Incheon, South Korea) and Hospira (Lake Forest, IL), a small-molecule injectable generics and drug delivery company, have announced plans to enter into a distribution agreement for eight biosimilar products currently under development by Celltrion.

Through the deal, Celltrion stands to benefit from the large distribution network that Hospira has for its own generic injectables. Hospira holds approximately 23% of the worldwide market in small-molecule generic injectables, as measured by unit sales, according to IMS data and the company’s own figures.

The deal will benefit Hospira by expanding its biosimilars portfolio. Hospira launched its first biosimilar, Retacrit (epoetin zeta), in several European countries early last year, and has filed for approval of a biosimilar filgrastim in the EU. They also have several more biosimilars in development.

Once the agreement is finalized, the companies will collaborate on the manufacturing and supply of the products. After regulatory approval, Hospira and Celltrion will both market the drugs, with the products independently commercialized under each party's brand name. The deal covers the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

"Hospira is the world leader in generic injectable pharmaceuticals and has the capabilities and experience to successfully sell biogenerics in these important markets," said Jung-Sin Seo, CEO and chairman of Celltrion, in a press release. "We believe this partnership will benefit both companies by combining Hospira's broad outreach with Celltrion's advanced biologic manufacturing capabilities."

Celltrion, which was founded in 2002 as a contract manufacturer of protein-based therapeutics, is currently developing a portfolio of biosimilars.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. The cooperation agreement signed today is expected to lead to a final agreement in the coming months.