Merck Serono and Dr. Reddy's will collaborate on biosimilars

Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) for oncology will be initial target

The pairing up of innovator pharma companies with generic manufacturers, started with Amgen and Watson Pharma last year, continues with Merck Serono and Dr. Reddy’s. According to a joint company announcement, Merck Serono (Darnstadt, Germany) and Dr. Reddy’s (Hyderabad) will co-develop molecules, with Dr. Reddy’s leading early product development and Phase I trials; then Merck Serono will take over manufacturing and lead Phase III development. Both will share fully in R&D cost-sharing.

Dr. Reddy’s has four biosimilars already launched; the partnership will expand Dr. Reddy’s presence in select emerging markets and to broaden its international reach. Merck Serono will undertake commercialization globally, outside the US and with the exception of select emerging markets which will be co-exclusvie or where Dr. Reddy’s maintains exclusive rights. In the US, the companies will co-commercialize on a profit-sharing basis.

Merck Serono’s existing portfolio includes brands for patients with cancer (Erbitux, cetuximab), multiple sclerosis (Rebif, interferon beta-1a), infertility (Gonal-f, follitropin alfa), endocrine and metabolic disorders (Saizen and Serostim, somatropin), (Kuvan, sapropterin dihydrochloride) as well as cardiometabolic diseases (Glucophage, metformin), (Concor, bisoprolol), (Euthyrox, levothyroxine). Not all products are available in all markets.