According to two people familiar with the matter, Aurobindo is in advanced negotiations with a European company to obtain permits for at least four biosimilar drugs to treat cancers and autoimmune disorders in a deal worth about $200 million, reported livemint.com.
The four drugs include biosimilar versions of Roche's Herceptin, Roche's Avastin, Johnson & Johnson's Remicade and Amgen's Enbrel, according to the people.
The transaction, which is expected to close in the fiscal's fourth quarter, would pit Aurobindo against companies such as Biocon, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories and Intas Pharmaceuticals, which are looking to launch biosimilars for Europe and other highly regulated markets.
"It's a good step by the company," remarked analyst Sarabjit Kour Nangra at Angel Broking, adding that "biosimilars is next big opportunity, but it's a long haul."
However, Sujay Shetty of PwC India suggested there would be challenges, noting "one is the difficulty of regulatory pathway and second is to launch a biosimilar you have to do R&D, you have to do clinical trials and then you have to market it as though you are launching a new product. So that is the reason why today [launching] biosimilars in developed markets is very hard."