Sanofi taps JHL for access to biosimilars in China
- Sanofi and Chinese biopharma JHL Biotech have signed a deal to develop and market biologics, starting in China and with the potential to expand internationally.
- Sanofi will invest $80 million in JHL shares, along with $21 million for an exclusive license to a Rituxan (rituximab) biosimilar and options for pipeline products.
- JHL will be responsible for development, registration and manufacturing; Sanofi will take charge of commercialization in China. JHL has the potential to earn milestones of up to $236 million and well as royalties on sales.
China's pharma market, estimated at $158 billion, is likely to reach $315 billion by 2020, second only to the U.S., projected to climb to $475 billion in the same period. The Chinese biologics and biosimilars sector is likely to be the fastest evolving biopharma sector over the next decade, according to the CPhI China 2016 Market Report. These increases are driven by the aging population and the growing middle class able to spend money on healthcare.
U.S. and European pharma companies, such as Sanofi, are looking to exploit this growing and lucrative market and meet local needs by collaborating with local companies who understand the local markets and regulatory authorities.
"The alliance reflects Sanofi’s long-term commitment to invest in China and to provide access to high quality therapeutics to Chinese patients," said DJean-Luc Lowinski, president of Sanofi China and SVP of Sanofi Asia. "JHL has quickly developed leading capabilities in the development of biologics and I am confident that our alliance will positively impact lives of patients in areas of high unmet medical needs in China."
Western companies can provide expertise and know-how which in turn could allow Chinese companies access to the U.S. and Europe.
"Today is a turning point in JHL’s history," said Racho Jordanov, cofounder and CEO of JHL Biotech. "JHL was built on the foundation of world-class biologics capabilities. In our alliance with Sanofi, we are combining JHL’s development and manufacturing expertise with Sanofi’s strengths in commercialization. Together, we will make high-quality medicines affordable to more patients in China."
- JHL Biotech Statement
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