Teva partnership looks to up its biologics productivity

Teva has teamed with Just Biotherapeutics to develop a high productivity biomanufacturing process as it focuses its efforts towards biopharmaceuticals.

The partnership aims to develop methods to lower the cost of biomanufacturing. Just Biotherapeutics – recently acquired by Germany’s Evotec – will design and development a high yielding manufacturing process for one of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ complex products.

Further details of the process, molecule or the finances of the deal were not answered by either company when contacted by this publication, but Teva spokesperson Grace Ann Arnold did tell us the collaboration falls into the firm’s biologics strategy.

Image: iStock/Tashatuvango

“Teva has made a strategic decision to invest in biopharmaceuticals as part of our growth plan for the future, and to help patients around the world,” she said.

“We are committed to strengthening our biotech capabilities and to applying innovative technologies to develop high-quality and cost-efficient biomanufacturing processes so that Teva can bring more treatment options to patients.”

Teva’s biologics

Traditionally, Israeli drugmaker Teva is a small molecule generics firm. In 2018, Teva pulled in $9.7 billion (€8.6 billion) from generics making it the third largest firm in the sector by revenue behind Mylan and Sandoz.

However, the firm added a biologics pipeline through its acquisition of Labrys Biologics in 2014, and has been successful in bringing lead product fremanezumab to market, as a migraine and pain monoclonal antibody under the brand name Ajovy.

And the firm has also been a player in the biosimilar space in Europe, through its acquisitions of Sicor Biotech in 2004, which added a microbial manufacturing site in Lithuania, and the acquisition of Ratiopharm in 2010, which gave the firm a mammalian cell culture manufacturing plant in Ulm, Germany.

In the US, Teva inked a marketing deal with Korea’s Celltrion and has recently had two biosimilars approved: Truxima, a version of Roche’s Rituxan (rituximab), and Herzuma, a version of Roche’s breast cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab).

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