Novartis AG’s NVS generics unit Sandoz entered a global commercialization agreement with a European biopharmaceutical company- Polpharma Biologics for a proposed biosimilar of Tysabri (natalizumab). The biosimilar is in phase III development for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
Per the agreement, Polpharma Biologics be responsible for the development, manufacturing and supply of the biosimilar. Sandoz will commercialize and distribute the medicine in all markets upon approval, through an exclusive global license.
The branded drug, Tysabri, is a disease-modifying therapy (DMT) that was approved for use more than 10 years ago, offering patients a valuable therapeutic option for treating RRMS.
Sandoz continues to expand in the biosimilars marketplace and this is its fifth proposed biosimilar in-licensed by Sandoz in nine months, thus demonstrating its commitment to further grow pipeline through collaborations.
Shares of the company have rallied 21.8% year to date compared with the industry’s growth of 3.3%.
In March 219, Novartis also received approval from FDA for Mayzent (siponimod), for for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, including RRMS, SPMS and CIS.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a major disease leading to disability in young and adult patients. Per the press release, there are nearly a million people affected by MS in the United States.
Notably, Biogen BIIB holds a strong position in the United States with multiple drugs in its MS portfolio. Apart from Biogen, several pharma companies have approved treatments for MS including Roche’s RHHBY Ocrevus and Sanofi’s SNY Aubagio.
Novartis currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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