In a bid to increase its market share in China, Amgen has entered into a partnership with a Shanghai biotech – an agreement to collaborate and license two of its drugs.
Amgen and Fosun Pharma announced an agreement on Monday aimed at increasing Amgen’s presence in the country. The stated goal so far is to bring Amgen’s lead psoriasis drug, Otezla, to market alongside Parsabiv, a drug for secondary hyperparathyroidism in adults with chronic kidney disease and on specific dialysis.
This is Amgen’s most recent step into the country in a bid that dates back years. In 2019, Amgen spent $2.7 billion to acquire a 20.5% stake in Beijing-headquartered BeiGene, expressing an initial desire to tap into the world’s most populous country and one of largest markets on the world stage.
Fosun and Amgen said their collaboration will focus on getting the two drugs to Chinese patients faster and will use Fosun’s already established commercial capabilities in the country. But on the approval front, Amgen is only halfway there.
While Otezla was already approved by China’s National Medical Products Administration last August, Parsabiv is still awaiting marketing authorization in the country. Parsabiv already obtained EMA and FDA approval in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Amgen did not respond to a request for comment before publication.
Fosun Chairman Wu Yifang said in a statement, “We are very pleased to enter into this partnership with Amgen to bring two innovative medicines, Otezla and Parsabiv, to Chinese patients.”
Amgen China Managing Director Irene Hsu added that licensing the two drugs “can bring full play to the advantages of both companies” to ensure patient access and allow Amgen to focus on cardiovascular diseases and bone health in the country.
According to the two companies, China has 6.5 million patients with psoriasis and around 735,000 patients on dialysis.
Financial details and other details about the licensing and the duration of the agreement were not disclosed.