Sandoz to buy eye drug Cimerli in $170 million deal

ZURICH (Reuters) -Sandoz on Monday announced a deal to buy Cimerli, a biosimilar drug to treat vision impairment and loss, from Coherus BioSciences Inc. for $170 million.

The drug is interchangeable with Lucentis, a product marketed by Roche’s Genentech in the United States and by Novartis in the rest of the world, for all approved indications, Sandoz said.

A biosimilar drug is a biological medicine highly similar to another already approved biological medicine in terms of structure, efficacy and safety. They are often cheaper than their biologic competitors.

The Cimerli deal includes the biologics license application, product inventory, ophthalmology sales and field reimbursement staff, as well as access to proprietary commercial software, Sandoz said.

It is expected to close in the first half of 2024.

“I am pleased that we can add another high-value product to the growing Sandoz biosimilar portfolio, further strengthening our existing ophthalmology franchise,” said Sandoz North America President Keren Haruvi.

“The addition of Cimerli reinforces our commitment to biosimilars and represents a huge step towards our goal of pioneering patient access to more affordable and much-needed medicines in the U.S.”

(Reporting by John Revill, Editing by Linda Pasquini)