Pfizer turns to Biocon in $350M biosimilar insulin deal

Pfizer ($PFE) is turning to India's Biocon to help it develop some biosimilar insulin products to help lay claim to a bigger slice of the globe's emerging market business, slapping down $200 million upfront and promising another $150 million in milestones.

As Forbes' Matthew Herper notes, Biocon makes generic versions of therapies owned by the likes of Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi-Aventis. "This is exactly the kind of thing big drug companies used to challenge as a danger to their intellectual property," writes Herper. "But Pfizer needs access to the kind of market Biocon represents."

Emerging markets will account for a big chunk of the new money going into drug purchases, as a growing middle class in countries like India and China demand some of the blockbusters available around the world.

Pfizer will have exclusive rights to commercialize biosimilars of Recombinant Human Insulin, Glargine, Aspart and Lispro globally, with certain exceptions, including co-exclusive rights for all of the products with Biocon in Germany, India and Malaysia.

- here's the Biocon release
- read the story from Forbes