Baxter, Coherus ink agreement worth up to $246 million

Companies to focus on developing, commercializing a biosimilar for etanercept

Kelsey Kaustinen
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DEERFIELD, Ill.—Baxter International Inc. and CoherusBiosciences, a clinical-stage biosimilar company based in the San Francisco BayArea, have announced the establishment of an exclusive collaboration for thedevelopment and commercialization of a biosimilar for etanercept for Europe,Canada, Brazil and select other markets.
"We are pleased to be partnering with Baxter, a premierhealthcare company that shares our strategic commitment to biosimilars," DennyLanfear, CEO of Coherus, said in a press release regarding the deal. "Thisagreement further validates our unique business model and capability toglobally develop products from conception through approval."
Etanercept, also known as Enbrel, is marketed by Amgen. Theinjection targets the tumor necrosis factor, increased levels of which areknown to play a role in the kind of inflammation seen in conditions such asarthritis. Enbrel is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severerheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and plaquepsoriasis in adults, as well as juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children. 
Per the terms of the agreement, Baxter will pay Coherus $30million up front. Coherus will be responsible for conducting development, andshould the company achieve certain development and regulatory milestones,Baxter will pay up to an additional $216 million. The agreement allows for thedevelopment and commercialization of a different biosimilar for etanercept aswell, depending on clinical data.
"The collaboration allows us to partner with a company thatbrings demonstrated capabilities with potential to support accelerated entryinto the biosimilar market for Baxter. This collaboration and Baxter's ongoingrelationship with Momenta expand Baxter's pipeline, which now includes severalbiosimilars in the areas of immunology and oncology," Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D.,president of Baxter's BioScience business, commented in a statement. "As anestablished biologics leader, we're looking forward to entering the market withbiosimilar treatments that will broaden patient access to care."
Baxter's work with Momenta Pharmaceuticals began back inDecember 2011, when the companies signed a biosimilars collaboration for theworldwide development and commercialization of up to six biosimilars andbiologics. Baxter made an upfront payment of $33 million to Momenta, with thepotential for additional payments if certain technical, development andregulatory milestones are met for all six products. The agreement unitedBaxter's expertise with clinical development and biologic manufacturing and itsglobal presence and capabilities with Momenta's experience with high-resolutionanalytics, characterization and product and process development.
SOURCE: Baxter press release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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