Sandoz in Biosimilars Pact with Just – Evotec Biologics

12.05.2023 - As Novartis moves toward shedding generics subsidiary Sandoz, which it touts as a global leader in off-patent generic and biosimilar drugs, Sandoz has agreed a multi-year strategic partnership with Just –Evotec Biologics, the Seattle, Washington-based US subsidiary of Germany’s Evotec, to develop and manufacture biosimilars.

The agreement covers the development and manufacture of multiple biosimilars with an option for expansion, and Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor said it represents” the most recent step toward strengthening the Sandoz foundation as a standalone off-patent medicines company.”

Concretely, the deal will provide Sandoz with additional capabilities to ensure continuity in development and manufacturing while Novartis heads for the exit, Saynor said. Development of the biosimilars is planned to ramp-up over the next 12 to 18 months.

Terms of the foreseen arrangement call for Just – Evotec Biologics to receive a double-digit-million-dollar sum upfront and future payments of $640 million, dependent on successful development progress, as well as additional undisclosed payments.

In an ad-hoc statement, Evotec said the strategic partnership allows Sandoz to take a non-exclusive license to use its Seattle offshoot’s proprietary J.DESIGN technology for the Swiss company’s own state-of-the-art ‘S.POD’ facility in the latter part of the current decade.

Commenting on the collaboration plans, Saynor said the partnership will be built on a “strong shared sense of purpose and commitment to use disruptive technology with lower operational costs to deliver high-quality biosimilars at scale to patients around the world.”

Prior to clinching the partnership with Just – Evotec Biologics, Sandoz announced it would step up investment at its Holzkirchen, Germany, site to create a core Biopharma Technical Development hub supporting future biosimilar growth.

Sandoz has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a new biologics production facility in Slovenia to support increasing global demand for biosimilar medicines, at an expected investment of at least $400 million. Full run of the plant has been penciled in for late 2026.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Author