Merck is joining forces with Hanwha (Korea) to go after a biosimilar form of Enbrel that will be coming off patent in October 2012. Hanwha's HD203 is in phase III trials right now in Korea targeted against rheumatoid arthritis. The drug is Amgen's 2nd biggest seller and Pfizer's third highest seller with both companies seeing more than $800 M in the first quarter 2011.
Merck gains commercial rights to the drug worldwide except in Korea and Turkey. Hanwha will receive an upfront payment, clinical milestones plus tiered sales royalties. Specific financial terms were not released.
Posted by Bruce Lehr June 13th 2011.