Alvotech invests US$250m in biopharmaceuticals


Portfolio of biosimilar products to be marketed by sister company, Alvogen

Alvotech plans to invest US$250m in the development and manufacturing of a portfolio of biosimilar monoclonal antibodies. Alvotech’s current biosimilar assets include follow-on versions of leading monoclonal antibodies molecules, which will be brought to market by 2018.

Headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland, Alvotech is an independent sister company of the multinational pharmaceuticals company, Alvogen, which develops generic, branded and over-the-counter products, as well as biosimilars and has more than 200 pharmaceuticals projects in development and registration for the treatment of conditions in oncology, cardiology, respiratory, neurology and gastroenterology.

Through the Alvotech-Alvogen alliance, Alvogen will add key pipeline molecules to its existing biosimilar business. The firm currently markets biosimilars in selected regions through alliances with companies including Hospira and has several pending marketing authorisations worldwide.

\'By combining Alvotech’s development and manufacturing excellence with Alvogen’s global marketing platform, we are taking a significant step toward becoming a major player in the biopharmaceutical industry and bringing valuable investment to support our growth,\' said Andreas Herrmann, CEO of Alvotech.

Alvotech broke ground in November on a new 11,800m2 facility, where it will produce its own developed biosimilars, the first of which are already in advanced development stage. Located on the science park of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, the site will provide a state-of-the-art, vertically integrated biologics manufacturing plant.

Iceland offers a strong regulatory system, low operating costs, a great talent pool, high quality standards and a convenient geographical location between the EU and US that is within easy reach of the rest of the world, the firm said.

\'Many of the world’s top-selling drugs are biologics, and exposure to biopharmaceuticals has become an important growth engine for Alvogen. The alliance with Alvotech will allow us to leverage our global commercial network in over 30 countries and is an important step for both companies towards becoming leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry. The partnership is a valuable addition to our current biosimilar business,\' said Robert Wessman, Chairman and CEO of Alvogen.

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Herrmann brings 25 years of industry experience to the firm. Prior to joining Alvotech, he was CEO of Baliopharm and Celonic in Switzerland. In 1994, he received his PhD in biochemistry in neurobiology and joined the University of Cologne as an associate professor in the department of cardiovascular physiology. Since 1996, he has been the co-founder and CEO of four biotechnology companies.