China and Russia collaborate to create biologics joint venture

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Pridannikov)
(Image: Getty/Pridannikov)

Related tags Russia China SPH-Biocad

Shanghai Pharma and Biocad established a joint venture to commercialize the latter’s portfolio of biosimilars and biologic treatments for the Chinese market.

The creation of the joint venture was presided over by the respective prime ministers of each country, China’s Li Keqiang and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev. The arrangement was finalized in June 2019 but announced by Biocad last week​.

The joint venture (JV) will be named SPH-Biocad and will begin life with six biopharmaceutical products and $400m (€366m) in the bank.

Biocad will provide three biosimilars, focused on oncology and autoimmune diseases, and three biopharmaceuticals, an IL-17 antibody, a PD-1 antibody, and a GITR antibody.

Dmitry Morozov, founder and CEO of Biocad, said, "This is the largest international deal to date for Biocad. For many years, we've been looking for the right partner in China. Today, we are absolutely confident in having found the right partner.”

For its part, Shanghai Pharma will provide funds of $200.4m in cash to establish a 50.1% equity stake in the joint venture, with Biocad holding the remaining 49.9% stake.

SPH-Biocad will hold the commercialization rights for the six biopharmaceuticals in the Greater China region.

Shanghai Pharma stated that it will look to leverage the JV to cooperate with Biocad on establishing its R&D and manufacturing for its biopharmaceutical pipeline.

Further than this, Zhou Jan, chairman of Shanghai Pharma, said that the JV was a good example of both countries’ desire to work ‘closely and pragmatically’ in key areas.

The company also provided further details on its long-term plan, stating that in the next three to five years, the company wants to transform from a generics company to an ‘innovative pharmaceutical company’.

Its strategy to achieve this aim will involve increasing its R&D investment from 7% to over 10% of its total sales.

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