Mylan's Combination With Pfizer's Upjohn Unit Will Give Its Biosimilars Expanded Reach

Kelly Davio

According to Mylan, the deal will allow the new company to “meaningfully expand the geographic reach” of its portfolio and its future products, including its complex generics and its biosimilars, into markets where Upjohn has existing infrastructure.

Pfizer’s off-patent drug unit, Upjohn, and Mylan have announced a deal under which they will combine to form a new company that will have expanded reach.

If the proposed transaction—which is subject to a Mylan shareholder vote and regulatory approvals—closes, Pfizer’s shareholders will own 57%, and Mylan shareholders will own 43%, of the combined company. Mylan’s chief executive officer (CEO), Heather Bresch, will retire, effective of the date of the transaction’s closure, which is expected to fall in mid-2020. The new company’s CEO will be Michael Goettler, current group president of Upjohn.

In a statement, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, PhD, said that “I believe that Mylan’s unique profile and strategy has made it the obvious partner of choice in creating this powerful combination. By bringing Mylan’s growth assets to Upjohn’s growth markets, we will create a financially strong company with true global reach.” According to the companies, the new entity, which will be domiciled in the United States, is expected to bring in $19 billion to $20 billion in worldwide revenues in 2020.

According to Mylan, the deal will allow the new company to “meaningfully expand the geographic reach” of its portfolio and its future products, including its complex generics and its biosimilars, into markets where Upjohn has existing infrastructure. While Mylan has a strong footprint in the United States and Europe, Upjohn is already in Asia and emerging markets.

Among the products that Mylan notes as bringing growth potential to Upjohn are its trastuzumab biosimilar (Ogivri), its bevacizumab biosimilar (the India-approved and launched Abevmy), its pegfilgrastim biosimilar (Fulphila), and its insulin glargine biosimilar (Semglee, approved and launched in the European Union and elsewhere). The companies also point to a combined pipeline that will see the unit develop biosimilars of abatacept (referencing Orencia) and aflibercept (referencing Eylea).

In an email to The Center for Biosimilars®, a representative from Pfizer confirmed that Pfizer’s biosimilars are not a part of the proposed transaction, and that they will remain part of their own business unit within Pfizer.