Epirus expands biosimilar pipeline and capabilities

September 14, 2015 7:00 AM

Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., announced an agreement for the acquisition of Bioceros Holding B.V., enabling Epirus to expand its biosimilar pipeline and vertically integrate product development capabilities. 

Bioceros is a privately-held, Netherlands-based biopharmaceutical R&D company focused on the development of mAbs and generation of GMP-ready cell lines. Over the past decade, Bioceros has developed numerous biosimilar cell lines from its proprietary, well-characterized CHO platform (CHOBC®).  Bioceros’ staff of scientists, fully-equipped labs and bioreactor capabilities have been designed for the development of mAbs and protein therapeutics, with a focus on biosimilars.

From the Bioceros platform, Epirus will expand its pipeline with the addition of three preclinical product candidates: BOW080, a proposed biosimilar to eculizumab (reference biologic Soliris); BOW090, a proposed biosimilar to ustekinumab (reference biologic Stelara); and BOW100, a proposed biosimilar to golimumab (reference biologic Simponi).  Soliris, marketed by Alexion Pharmaceuticals, is currently indicated to treat ultra-rare blood disorders, including paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).  Simponi and Stelara are marketed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and indicated in inflammatory and immune mediated disorders.

These three new pipeline assets represent a global growth opportunity for Epirus in targeting reference biologics with estimated 2020 peak sales of $12 billion.  The platform also enables future pipeline growth opportunities for Epirus.  The anticipated filing dates for the three new pipeline products are 2020 for BOW080, 2021 for BOW090 and 2022 for BOW100.

“Building a focused, sustainable and profitable biosimilar business requires capabilities for efficient pipeline growth.  With this in mind, we are excited to welcome Bioceros and their world-class capabilities and expertise,” said Amit Munshi, president and chief executive officer, EPIRUS Biopharmaceuticals.  “Together, we will continue working to improve patient access to important, cost-effective medicines worldwide. Our combined biosimilar pipeline targets reference biologics with sales of $29 billion, which we estimate to be a biosimilar market opportunity of more than $9 billion.”

“Having worked with Epirus as a partner over the last several years, we believe strongly in the Company’s vision and their ability to execute,” said Bram Bout, Ph.D., chief executive officer and chairman of the management board, Bioceros.  “With our proven track record, our team brings substantial cell line and process development experience, representing a strong asset for Epirus.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Epirus has acquired Bioceros for a total consideration of $14.1 million in cash and stock payable in installments over a one-year period.

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