Momenta/Sandoz Tie-Up Adds Momentum to Large Molecules
This article was originally published in Start Up
The July 2006 alliance between Momenta Pharmaceuticals and Novartis AG's generics outfit Sandoz underscores the role sugar characterization technologies may play in both copying complex molecules like follow-on biologics and improving on existing glycoproteins and complex mixtures.
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In an extraordinary series of deals, Pharma has embraced early-stage large-molecule technology, reflecting both the surging value of biologics and the severity of pipeline anemia. But many observers are skeptical the less experienced Big Pharmas can buy themselves into a brand new business with very different requirements. For start-ups, however, the news is very good--they now have two clear and viable pathways to creating shareholder value: acquisition and alliance.
The press release was foggy; Sandoz Inc., the generics unit of Novartis AG, was teaming up with a biotech, Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. to commercialize "complex pharmaceutical products." Upon closer examination, the deal in fact has wide-ranging implications, representing the very real near-term possibility of a true generic biologic,