Another biosimilars retreat, this time from Viatris

The biosimilars businesses owned by Viatris and Biocon have been intertwined for many years, and the partnership is heading for fuller consummation. The Indian group is paying $3.3bn to take control of the partnership, allowing Viatris to pay down debt and focus on fewer, higher-margin areas. The terms see Biocon hand over $2bn in cash and $1bn of Biocon Biologics shares, equivalent to around a 13% stake; this biologics division will be spun off via IPO towards the end of 2023. A further $335m will be paid if Biocon choses to opt in on an Eylea biosimilar. Notably, the deal does not include a Botox copycat; this project remains Viatris’s most important pipeline project, analysts at Evercore ISI noted today. How Viatris plans to keep expanding is a big question for investors, as biosimilars was considered one of its fastest-growing business areas. Perhaps this explains why Viatris shares dropped 23% on the news, even as the sellside came out largely in support of the valuation. The company is far from the first to step back from this area: Biogen sold its stake in a biosimilars joint venture last month.

The biggest biosimilars heading Biocon's way
    Forecast worldwide sales ($m)
Product Reference brand 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
Semglee Lantus  261 274 282 299 311
Ogivri Herceptin  161 153 148 145 143
Fulphila Neulasta  146 144 142 140 141
Hulio  Humira  96 111 197 178 175
Krabeva Avastin  15 20 25 30 35
Note: brand names may differ regionally, Humira biosimilar to launch in US 2023. Source: Evaluate Pharma

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