PolandPoland

Bioton buys Biopartners Holding

17.05.2007

Warsaw – Bioton, the Polish manufacturer of recombinant human insulin and antibiotics, has acquired the Swiss bio­similars company Biopartners Holding AG for approximately a59 million, including its subsidiaries in Germany and Switzerland. With this acquisition, Bio­ton has broadened its drug pipeline with five biosimilar products (see table) in advanced development, with a huge market potential. The market size of the already EU-approved but not yet marketed bio­similar Valtropin (somatropin), a recombinant human growth hormone, is estimated to achieve US$ 550 million in 2007. Bioton stated that the purchase of Biopartners will add biotechnological know-how in product development to Bioton’s own capabilities and that it will speed up the registration process for products developed by Bioton.
Bioton will purchase the Swiss company from DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, which will trade in 100% of the shares in BioPartners for 81,489,729 I-series Bioton shares, representing about 3% of its capital. The price includes the repayment of Biopartners’ debts of $15.8m (a12m) to DLJ. DLJ has undertaken not to trade its Bio­ton shares for six months from the transaction date.
Biopartners stated that its operations will not be affected by the acquisition and that it will continue its activities under the same management team.
Bioton’s CEO, Adam Wilczega, stated that BioPartners product portfolio offers an additional significant market opportunity, due to low production costs and price competitiveness.
Biopartners’ Valtropin received EU approval in April 2006 and the company announced that it would begin marketing in the UK in the second quarter of 2007. In contrast, Alpheon, a biosimilar recombinant interferon alpha, which can be used in combination with ribavirin to treat Hepatitis C and for the treatment of different cancers, failed to receive EU market approval in June 2006. Another pipeline drug (Ravanex), which combines recombinant interferon alpha with ribavirin, is expected to be launched at the beginning of the next year. Whilst Bioton plans to invest a13 million into biosimilar research in 2007 and in 2008, the company expects to increase its revenues of C45 million for this year to C78 million, when all biosimilars will be traded. “The acquisition of Biopartners is the next step towards building a modern company which will be present in all global markets”, said CEO Wilczega.

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