Epirus to buy CHO tech and biosimilar developer Bioceros

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Epirus to buy CHO tech and biosimilar developer Bioceros

Related tags biopharmaceuticals

Epirus Biopharmaceuticals will bolster its biosimilar pipeline and gain a CHO platform through a $14m acquisition of Bioceros Holding.

The deal announced today will see Epirus add three preclinical biosimilar candidates to its pipeline: a version of Alexion’s Soliris (eculizumab), and versions of J&J’s Stelara (ustekinumab) and Simponi (golimumab).

The proprietary biologics are set to lose their exclusivity from 2020, and Epirus said the addition of such copycats from this acquisition could, if successful, substantially grow the company’s topline.

“We will continue working to improve patient access to important, cost-effective medicines worldwide,”​ said Epirus CEO Amit Munshi. “Our combined biosimilar pipeline targets reference biologics with sales of $2bn, which we estimate to be a biosimilar market opportunity of more than $9bn.”

The firm, which merged with Zalicus in April 2014​, is currently developing a number of biosimilar products, including a version of AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab), and Genentech’s Actemra (tocilzumab). Its lead product is BOW015, a version of J&J’s Remicade (infliximab).

The deal will also see Epirus add Bioceros’ proprietary, Chinese hamster Ovary (CHO) platform to its technologies.

The firm had been using the cell line technology for its own development needs through a number of non-exclusive license agreements dating back to 2013, and in November 2014 entered into a Master Services Agreement with Bioceros surrounding the development and manufacture of a tocilzumab biosimilar.

“Having worked with Epirus as a partner over the last several years, we believe strongly in the Company's vision and their ability to execute,"​ said Bioceros CEO Bram Bout. "With our proven track record, our team brings substantial cell line and process development experience, representing a strong asset for Epirus.”

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