Alvotech Breaks Ground for Biosimilar Development Facility

January 3, 2021
Tony Hagen

Tony Hagen is senior managing editor for The Center for Biosimilars®.

An expansion of its Reykjavik, Iceland, headquarters operation will speed the company on its way to launching its first biosimilars, officials said.

Alvotech has moved forward with expansion of its Reykjavik, Iceland, facilities for biosimilar development. The company has begun a 41,000-square-foot expansion of its high-tech center, which was established in the city in 2013.

Company officials said the new building will house biosimilar development, drug refills, offices, and warehouse space. A portion of the facility will be made available to the University of Iceland Biotechnology Department for collaborative work that includes student internships with Alvotech.

"It is a great delight to end this difficult year, which was marked by the battle against [coronavirus disease 2019] and subsequent gravities, with such a positive step toward the future evolution of the company,” Robert Wessman, chairman of the board of Alvotech, said in a statement. He said the expansion would provide the foundation for the commercialization of the company’s first biosimilars.

Not including this project, Alvotech has a 140,000-square-foot manufacturing and product development facility in Reykjavik; a second production center under construction in Changchun, China; and research and development operations in Julich and Hanover, Germany; Virginia; and Zurich, Switzerland.

Alvotech is developing biosimilars for autoimmune diseases, ophthalmology, and oncology. The company does not yet have any approved biosimilars, but in November 2020 Alvotech filed with the FDA and European Medicines Agency for approval of an adalimumab biosimilar (AVT02), referencing AbbVie’s Humira for the treatment of rheumatologic and gastrointestinal disorders.

In a recent presentation, Alvotech’s chief scientific officer described the company’s marketing strategy to launch biosimilars in multiple countries simultaneously. Toward this end, the company has signed numerous deals with global partners. Most recently, Alvotech signed an extended partnership agreement with Fuji Pharma in Japan. This covers the commercialization of 4 biosimilar medicines in that country.