Many of the deals now bearing fruit were signed before the company’s current head of global business development and licensing, Nigel Sheail, joined it from Roche in November 2011 and certainly before he undertook a reorganization that consolidated business development functions across the healthcare subsidiary into one unit, with the aim of fostering a focus on integrated care across Bayer’s diverse health care subsidiaries. In an interview published in IN VIVO in September 2012, Sheail outlined where he sees health care heading and provided some insights into his business development priorities. His efforts have yet to prove themselves, but meanwhile Bayer has some solid launches to buttress the cash flow- and importantly, no patent cliff before it.
Bayer’s overall stock is trading in the 90s, close to a 52-week high, partly because of the performance of its pharma division. Even though its chairman, Joerg Reinhardt, has left to become chairman of rival Novartis, and its former chief marketing officer, and global head of strategic planning, Flemming Ornskov, is settling in at Shire PLC, where he assumes the top spot in May, its near-to-mid-term future looks more secure than many of its peers.
Even as Bayer rushes to maximize the value of its deals, others are forging their own way. It's time for this week's edition of ....
Mylan/Biocon: Close to a year after Pfizer walked out of a deal with India’s Biocon for development and commercialization of a range of insulins, the Indian company has sprung back forming what it called an “exclusive strategic collaboration” with the world’s fourth-largest generic drug maker Mylan. Under the deal, the two companies will develop biosimilars of Sanofi’s Lantus (glargine), Eli Lilly’s Humalog (lispro) and Novo Nordisk’s Novolog (aspart), the three major insulin analogs. The combined global sales of the three brands reached $11.5 billion in 2012, making it a compelling business plan as regulatory pathways for biosimilars across nations gain further clarity. Lantus alone crossed sales of $6.6 billion last year. But the terms of the deal with Mylan differ substantially from the deal Biocon signed with Pfizer in 2010. Biocon didn't disclose financials, except to note that the deal includes an upfront and cost sharing, backed by a profit sharing arrangement, and no milestones; the Pfizer deal consisted of a $200 million upfront and $150 million in milestones. Unlike the Pfizer deal, the Mylan deal does not include recombinant human insulin, which Biocon is developing on its own. --Vikas Dandekar
AstraZeneca/ N.N. Petrov Institute of Oncology: AstraZeneca has signed a research collaboration with one of Russia's leading cancer research institutions, the Petrov Institute, to identify genetic mutations in cancer patients. The deal, announced Feb. 12, will pave the way for scientists from both organizations to identify specific types of cancer tumors that have potential drug-sensitizing gene mutations; specifics were not disclosed. AZ will be able to analyze data generated by the Institute's archive of tumor samples, which is one of the largest in Europe, with more than one million samples from over 270,000 patients. The Institute scientist who will direct the collaboration with AZ helped establish EGFR testing of AZ's Iressa patients in Russia and Eastern Europe. The deal also bolsters AZ's efforts to help the Russian government build a local world-class innovative biopharma industry. --WD
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