Amgen and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. plan to collaborate on the development and global commercialization of several oncology antibody biosimilar medicines.

Amgen, Watson Pharmaceuticals, oncology biosimilars, oncology antibody biosimilar medicines, biosimilar medicines, Paul Bisaro, Robert Bradway, generic drug, specialty pharmaceutical, oncology antibody products

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Amgen, Watson team on oncology biosimilars

December 19th, 2011

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., and PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Amgen and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. plan to collaborate on the development and global commercialization of several oncology antibody biosimilar medicines.

The companies said Monday that the collaboration "reflects the shared belief that the development and commercialization of biosimilar products will not follow a pure brand or generic model and will require significant expertise, infrastructure and investment to ensure safe, reliably supplied therapies for patients.

Under the agreement, Amgen will take primary responsibility for developing, manufacturing and initially commercializing the oncology antibody products. Watson will contribute up to $400 million in co-development costs over the course of development, including the provision of development support, and will share product development risks.

In addition, Watson will provide its expertise in the commercialization and marketing of products in the specialty pharmaceutical and generic drug markets, including to help effectively manage the life cycle of the biosimilar products, according to the companies.

"The pairing of Amgen's 30 years of experience in biologics together with Watson's substantial generics and specialty pharmaceutical experience and complementary commercial and distribution capabilities provides great potential for worldwide patient access to high-quality oncology biosimilar medicines," stated Robert Bradway, president and chief operating officer at Amgen. "Biosimilars provide an exciting long-term growth opportunity for Amgen. We have a dedicated team to leverage existing capabilities and capacity and drive the success of the collaboration."

The collaboration products are slated to be sold under a joint Amgen/Watson label. Watson will initially receive royalties and sales milestones from product revenue. The companies said the collaboration won't pursue biosimilars of Amgen's proprietary products.

"This collaboration places Amgen and Watson in an unparalleled position in the global biosimilars market by capitalizing on best-in-class capabilities in both innovative biologics and specialty pharmaceuticals and generics," commented Paul Bisaro, president and chief executive officer at Watson. "Forging this collaboration delivers on the Watson promise to be a leader in the field of biosimilars and does so in a way that helps manage the substantial financial investment, operational capabilities and broad commercial skills required to bring safe, high-quality and cost-effective biosimilar therapies to patients.

"We believe that biosimilars are the next frontier in the evolution of the health care market," Bisaro added, "and we are prepared to bring all of our resources to bear in this collaboration to ensure this partnership can most effectively compete in the biosimilar space."