Alteogen, a Korean developer of biosimilars, said Wednesday it would transfer the technology of its ALT-L2, a biosimilar product of breast and gastric cancer treatment Herceptin, to China’s Qilu Pharmaceutical.
The two companies will jointly complete the development of the antibody drug biosimilar developed by Alteogen, and cooperate for its approval, production, and marketing in China, officials at the Korean company said. The amount and other conditions of the contract remain unknown under the agreement between them.
A biosimilar is a biologic medical product which is almost an identical copy of an original product that is manufactured by a different company.[
Under the agreement, Alteogen will receive contract money within 30 days and jointly move ahead with the phase-3 clinical trials of ALT-L2. The Korean company will also receive royalties by its developmental stages and product marketing. The biosimilar product has completed phase 1 clinical test in Canada and been exempted from phase 2 trial.
According to IMS Health statistics quoted by the Korean company, China’s market for Herceptin was estimated to be around 730 billion won ($655 million). Swiss-based multinational pharmaceutical Roche recorded sales of 8 trillion won from Herceptin (compound Trastuzumab) last year. China’s pharmaceutical market is the second largest in the world after the U.S., estimated to be about 500 trillion won as of 2015.
Alteogen hopes the recent contract will open the way for preempting the Chinese biosimilar market and help the Korean company speed up the globalization of its biobetter (similar to biosimilar but with improved efficacy from originals) and antibody-drug conjugate businesses, too.
The company was listed on the KOSDAQ market in December 2014.