Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, a leading pharmaceutical company in China, today announced that the companies have expanded their strategic relationship formed in 2010. The companies have agreed to collaborate in China on the development and commercialization of the subcutaneous (SC) formulation of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s biologic medicine, Orencia (abatacept), for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Orencia SC is already on the market for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
Under the terms of the agreement, Simcere will perform and fund all development and regulatory activities required to obtain market approval for Orencia SC in China, based on a pre-agreed development plan. The companies will share responsibility for commercializing Orencia, and will share profits and losses related to Orencia SC in China. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Orencia SC is the third program in our R&D collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, underscoring our joint commitment to our broad strategic partnership,” commented Mr. Hongquan Liu, the CEO of Simcere. “Combining Orencia SC with our existing portfolio in rheumatoid arthritis treatment, we are committed to delivering more innovative and effective medicines to Chinese patients.” Mr. Hongquan Liu further commented, “Moving forward, we will continue to execute on our partnering strategy and to bring in more late-stage programs and products already approved outside of China, to complement our R&D pipeline and strengthen our in-market portfolio.” “We are pleased to partner with Simcere on Orencia SC, moving beyond our companies’ original focus on early development activities to a partnership focused on the clinical development and commercialization of one of our currently marketed products,” said Beatrice Cazala, executive vice president, Commercial Operations. “If successful, not only could Orencia SC bring a new option to Chinese patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, but also it could become Bristol-Myers Squibb’s first biologic medicine for the Chinese market.”