Teva looks to plug gap in its biomanufacturing network

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Teva has begun addressing its biomanufacturing gap
Teva has begun addressing its biomanufacturing gap
Teva has begun addressing the gap in its biologics production capability and says a significant manufacturing facility is on its way.

The Israel-based generics firm has been vocal of late in its development of biologics, with CEO Erez Vigodman telling investors at last month’s JP Morgan Healthcare Conference Teva’s strategy “goes beyond biosimilars,” ​with its proprietary mAb candidate Reslizumab currently in Phase III trials.

At the time Vigodman said the firm lacked manufacturing capabilities. Teva is now looking to address this shortfall, according to management comments during a call yesterday to discuss end of year financials.

“We currently have capabilities and capacity both in mammalian and microbial manufacturing at small scale. We need to expand that and we are currently assessing the best location to do this,”​ said Carlo De Notaristefani, Teva’s head of Global Operations.

“It’s really about expanding the capacity because we currently do have capabilities for all the key technologies within the space of biologics manufacturing.”

A plan is underway, Vigodman added, to address the “one gap we have”​ in biologics. “We started to develop a plan for the establishment of biologics production facility, a significant one.”

He continued: “And we’ll over time also craft a plan to deal with what we call the go-to market capability. We might then pursue a partner to accelerate the pace of the execution.”

A joint venture with contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) Lonza to develop and manufacture biosimilars ended in 2013​.

For the full year, the company reported net sales of $20.3bn (€17.5bn), marginally down on 2013.

Pfizer Hospira Deal

The company also spoke about the proposed $17bn acquisition of Hospira by Pfizer​ which is expected to make the Big Pharma firm one of the largest players – and a direct competitor with Teva - in the biosimilars market.

“I think first of all this is a consolidation in the biosimilar space. Pfizer was looking at it and Hospira was doing that too, so I think that speaks highly to that space,”​ CFO Eyal Desheh said.

He also hinted Teva was looking to expand its own biosimilar pipeline, and while it has a few second wave biosimilar products (versions of biologics such as Enbrel and Herceptin coming off patent between 2015 and 2020) “we would love to have more. We are exploring the opportunities.”

“I think Teva has extremely good capabilities in terms of development and commercialization. We are quite strong in wave one, estimated this year to be between $200 million and $300 million in revenue this year from wave one.”

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