India's Reliance Grabs Rights to Biosimilars in Epirus Bankruptcy

Source: The Economic Times

Jul 28, 2016

Reliance Life Sciences, the biopharmaceutical unit of India-based Reliance Industries, has acquired the global rights for biosimilars of Infliximab.

Infliximab is used to treat a broad range of medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. With the latest addition, Reliance is now one of the top biosimilars makers with an offering of six products based on monoclonal antibodies.

Reliance grabbed the rights from Epirus Biopharmaceuticals after the Boston-based startup filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Epirus had lost approximately 82 percent of its value by June of 2016 after an announcement that it would stop development of Infliximab to focus on other products, in addition to reducing its workforce by 40 percent.

Reliance's acquisition comes after the two companies terminated an agreement where Reliance was to supply the biosimilars to Epirus for its global marketing efforts. For Infliximab, based on the cell lines provided by Epirus, Reliance Life Sciences had completed process development, manufacturing, and clinical trials in India and obtained marketing approval last year. Epirus had then licensed the marketing rights to Ranbaxy under the brand name Infimab, which was later taken over by Sun Pharma.

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