Taiwan Liposome Co (台灣微脂體), a developer of generic drugs used to treat breast and ovarian cancer, yesterday said it had signed a distribution agreement with Sandoz AG to help market the Taiwanese firm’s liposomal amphotericin B product in the EU and the US.
Sandoz is the generic pharmaceuticals division of Swiss giant Novartis AG.
Liposomal amphotericin B (AmBiL) is a lipid-associated formulation used to cure systemic fungal infection. Taiwan Liposome says its generic version of AmBisome, the leading drug used for treating the condition, is cheaper and less toxic.
Prior to the Sandoz deal, the company had signed licensing agreements with Yungshin Pharmaceutical Industry Co (永信藥品) on Feb. 27 and SamChunDang Pharmaceuticals Co on Aug. 26 for the distribution of the drug in Taiwan and South Korea respectively.
“We are very pleased to have an extremely strong player in the generic market such as Sandoz to distribute our liposomal amphotericin B product in the EU and the US,” company chairman and chief executive officer Keelung Hong (洪基隆) said in a statement yesterday.
Hong said he expects both parties to benefit tremendously from the partnership.
Global sales of AmBisome reached US$479 million last year, with most of the revenue coming from the US and Europe, Taiwan Liposome said in July, citing pharmaceutical researcher Evaluate Pharma’s data.
LICENSE TO SELL
Taiwan Liposome has been granted the license to sell AmBiL in Taiwan and is planning to gain permits for the drug in the US and Europe, which the company said could take place next year or in 2015.
In the first 11 months of the year, Taiwan Liposome reported NT$233.2 million (US$7.9 million) in sales, down 33.3 percent from the same period last year, according to a company filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Taiwan Liposome shares rose 4.85 percent to NT$335 yesterday.
Additional reporting by Camaron Kao