Pfizer Inc has ended the $350 million deal to commercialize Biocon’s biosimilar versions of insulin and insulin analogues, giving a big blow to the India biopharma firm’s ambitions to emerge as a major player in diabetes care.

biocon pfizer deal endedThe two company said that all rights to the products returned to Biocon and insulin under the Univia and Glarvia brands will now be sold by the Indian company. In October 2010, the Bangalore- based Biocon and Pfizer entered the deal that allowed Pfizer to sell four of the  company’s insulin products globally. Biocon was responsible for the clinical development, manufacture and supply of biosimilar insulin products. The deal earned Biocon $100 million payment in upfront, and another $100 million pending. Biocon was also eligible to receive additional development and regulatory milestone payments of up to $ 150 million.

Pfizer and Biocon said that they mutually decided to end the agreement due to “individual priorities for their respective biosimilars businesses”. According to Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD of Biocon, Pfizer had changed its business priorities to focus on a broader portfolio of biosimilar products, including monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins, while Biocon was focused on biosimilar insulin products.

“Biocon will continue to work with its existing partners in several markets and will pursue a commercial strategy on its own and through new alliances in other markets,” Shaw said in a statement.

Diem Nguyen, general manager for biosimilars at Pfizer, said Pfizer “will continue to be active in our own R&D development efforts for diabetes, which represents a huge unmet medical need”.

She added that Pfizer will ”continues to be dedicated to developing a broad portfolio of biosimilars medicines, including monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins products, both internally and through collaborations.”