Sandoz buys Lucentis biosim from Coherus

Jan. 22, 2024

Sandoz signed an agreement this week to purchase ophthalmology drug Cimerli — a Lucentis biosimilar — from Coherus BioSciences.

Per the deal, Sandoz will give Coherus an upfront cash payment of $170 million, covering the drug's BLA, product inventory, ophthalmology sales, field reimbursement talent, and access to proprietary commercial software. The transaction is expected to be closed by the first half of 2024.

In 2022, Cimerli became the first biosimilar product interchangeable with Roche and Novartis’ blockbuster ophthalmology therapy Lucentis across all five indications — wet age-related macular degeneration, macular edema following retinal vein occlusion, diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy and myopic choroidal neovascularization.

According to Coherus CEO Denny Lanfear, the divestiture will allow the California-based biotech to reduce headcount and overhead costs, in order to grow its oncology business.

The Cimerli purchase is Sandoz' first since becoming independent from Novartis. In October, Novartis successfully spun off its generics and biosimilars business, establishing the independent company. With a robust pipeline of over 15 biosimilar molecules, the spin off positioned Sandoz as the largest generics company in Europe by sales.