Iranian drugmaker opens $100M plant in Turkey, will make Humira biosimilar  

An Iranian biosimilar maker has opened a $100 million plant in Turkey where it will produce a biosimilar of AbbVie's Humira. (CinnaGen Pharmaceuticals)

Turkey is getting its first locally produced mAb via an Iranian biosimilars marker and the $100 million plant it built there.

CinnaGen Pharmaceuticals has opened the plant in Çerkezköy, in northwestern Turkey's Tekirdağ, the Daily Sabah reports. Details were few but the CinnaGen CEO İlaç Ferhat Farşi told the publication that American scientists were among its employees.

The operation is slated to make “rare drug,” which are expected to save Turkey about $150 million in imports the first year. According to the CinnaGen website, the company makes a biosimilar of AbbVie’s arthritis fighter Humira in both juvenile and adult doses.

RELATED: Amgen joins Big Pharma's branded generics club with $700M deal 

The CEO said that with the new plant, Turkey can begin thinking in terms of being a net exporter of pharmaceuticals. He said the company has signed agreements with countries including Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Qatar and Ecuador, and expects to be able to export to Europe in two years.

Given Turkey’s growth, it has seen both local and Western drugmaker make moves on its markets. Turkey's largest pharmaceutical wholesaler, Pharmactive invested $120 million in a new manufacturing plant that started production in 2013.  

Sanofi's generics unit Zentiva was focused on Turkey before selling that business to Advent International last year. In 2012, Amgen paid $700 million for Turkish generics maker Mustafa Nevzat.