India's Aurobindo may do European deal on biosimilars

India's Aurobindo Pharma is said to be in "advanced talks" with a European company for a $200 million deal that will allow it to acquire permits to market biosimilar drugs for cancers and autoimmune diseases on the continent, according to a report by Livemint.

The deal could close in the company's fiscal fourth quarter, Livemint reported, and would give the company the right to develop, manufacture and market biosimilars of trastuzumab, bevacizumab, infliximab and etanercept.

Trastuzumab is the biosimilar of Roche's ($RHBBY) breast cancer treatment Herceptin. Bevacizumab is the biosimilar of Roche's cancer treatment Avastin while Infliximab is the biosimilar of Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Remicade and is used to treat autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Etanercept is the biosimilar of Amgen's ($AMGN) rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel.

Aurobindo declined to comment to Livemint on the deal, which, if successful, would give the company a leg up over rivals because many of the biosimilars covered under the deal have already entered clinical trials.

Other Indian drugmakers are also looking to Europe for their biosimilars. These include Biocon, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ($RDY) and Intas Pharmaceuticals, each hoping to get a share of a market that is expected to hit $25 billion or more by 2020. Several Indian companies have also already struck deals for biosimilars. Biocon has teamed up with Mylan ($MYL) to develop biosimilars and Dr. Reddy's did a deal with Merck Serono while Intas partnered with Canada's Apotex.

- here's the report from Livemint

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