Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has signed a licensing agreement with Reliance Life Sciences for the marketing of three biosimilar products in India. The two companies are planning to market the biosimilars adalimumab, a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, as well as rituximab and cetuximab, which are used in oncology.
Adalimumab is considered to be one of the most preferred treatments for auto-immune diseases such as IBD. It is more commonly known by its brand name Humira (“human monoclonal antibody in rheumatoid arthritis”), a TNF inhibiting anti-inflammatory therapy that was developed by AbbVie. It is said to be the world’s largest-selling drug, and is used for a range of diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, moderate to severe chronic psoriasis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Additionally, rituximab and cetuximab are oncology biosimilar products for the treatment of several cancers including colorectal cancer, leukemia, skin cancer, lymphoma, head and neck cancers.
Under the agreement signed by the two companies, Reliance Life Sciences is responsible for the supply and development of the biosimilars for Torrent Pharma, after receiving the regulatory approvals needed for them. The manufacturing of the products, which are currently at different stages of development, will be supervised at by Reliance Life Sciences at its facility in Navi Mumbai.
In addition, Torrent Pharma will receive the products from Reliance Life Sciences for a period of up to ten years. The two companies will now exclusively market adalimumab, rituximab and cetuximab in India. Torrent Pharma has stated that the biosimilars are a competitive market in India, and they expect Reliance Life Sciences to help them enhance their market footprint in the oncology and dermatology segments in the future.
Based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat since 1959, Torrent Pharma has began focusing on oncology and dermatology between 2011 and 2012, after the company launched a series of exclusive divisions. Since then, Torrent has been gaining market share in these segments, and has already launched other biosimilar products.
Reliance Life Sciences, which is part of the Reliance Group of companies, has been focused on the creation of business opportunities in medical biotechnology. With its more than 800 employees, Reliance Life Sciences is already completely integrated within the life sciences industry, including research, pre-clinical and clinical development, process development, commercial-scale manufacturing, marketing and local sales organization.