Coherus inks $246M Baxter deal to develop Enbrel biosimilar

The biosimilars startup Coherus Biosciences has inked a $246 million deal to develop a knockoff of Amgen's blockbuster Enbrel (etanercept, which earned more than $8 billion last year) for Baxter International. Redwood City, CA-based Coherus, which launched in 2010, nabbed a $30 million upfront payment from Baxter along with up to $210 million in milestones. Baxter is looking to control the commercial rights in Europe, Canada, Brazil and other markets. The deal comes on top of another pact Coherus struck a little more than a year ago, agreeing to develop biosimilars of Enbrel and Rituxan (rituximab) for Daiichi Sankyo in certain Asian markets, excluding Japan. "This collaboration and Baxter's ongoing relationship with Momenta expand Baxter's pipeline, which now includes several biosimilars in the areas of immunology and oncology," said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter's BioScience business. "As an established biologics leader, we're looking forward to entering the market with biosimilar treatments that will broaden patient access to care." Coherus is run by Denny Lanfear, a 13-year Amgen ($AMGN) veteran. Release