India's Dr. Reddy's works with Turkey's TR-Pharm on biosimilars

Dr. Reddy's CEO G.V. Prasad

Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ($RDY) has signed a deal with TR-Pharm to develop and manufacture three unspecified biosimilars, presumably from the India company's existing product and pipeline stable.

In an opaque press release with few details, Dr. Reddy's did however advance its recent statements on a biosimilar strategy focused on emerging markets.

In May last year, a report by Phillip Capital said Dr. Reddy's expects 50 filings of its first set of 6 biosimilar drugs across 14 major countries by 2020.

It appears one of those countries is Turkey, where reimbursement is available for many cutting-edge drugs in oncology and other chronic areas, though issues on pricing remain contentious and shortages are not uncommon as the government seeks to hold down costs and encourage local manufacture.

"We have entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Turkey-based TR-Pharm involving 3 biosimilar products. These products will be registered and subsequently commercialized as a part of this agreement by TR-Pharm in Turkey," the company said in a release.

"TR-Pharm will also manufacture the drug substance and drug product upon completion of its facility investment."

A spokesman for Dr. Reddy's was not immediately available for further comment.

In India, the company has sold a cut-price version of Roche ($RHHBY) originator drug Neupogen (pegfilgrastim), branded Cresp, since 2011. In August last year, it said it would seek local regulatory nods to market Amgen's ($AMGN) multiple myeloma drug Kyprolis, immunotherapy Blincyto and PCSK9 inhibitor Repatha in India.

Amgen also makes a biosimilar of pegfilgrastim called Neulasta.

As well in India, Dr. Reddy's has already launched rituximab (Rituxan, MabThera and Zytux), darbepoetin (Aranesp) and the aforementioned pegfilgrastim. It is also working on candidates such as trastuzumab (Herceptin) and bevacizumab (Avastin).

- here's the release from Dr. Reddy's
- and an article from the Economic Times