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Coherus to divest ophthalmology franchise to Sandoz for $170 Million


According to the companies, the deal also includes Coherus’ CIMERLI biologics license application, ophthalmology sales and select field reimbursement teams. Coherus will now focus on its oncology business.

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/fergregory)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/fergregory)

Coherus BioSciences Inc announced it has agreed to divest its CIMERLI (ranibizumab-eqrn) ophthalmology franchise to Sandoz for an upfront, all-cash consideration of $170 million.

The deal, which includes CIMERLI and its supporting commercial infrastructure, will also include an additional amount for CIMERLI product inventory and subject to customary working capital adjustments at the closing date.

According to a news release,1 the deal also includes Coherus’ CIMERLI biologics license application, ophthalmology sales and select field reimbursement teams, CIMERLI product inventory on hand, and access to proprietary commercial software.

Denny Lanfear, chairman and CEO of Coherus, pointed out in the news release that since entering the ophthalmology market 2 years ago, the company has gained strong market share and created significant value in a non-core therapeutic area by leveraging our buy-and-bill commercial expertise.

“We believe it is prudent to now monetize these non-core assets to pay down debt, reduce interest costs, and take the opportunity to focus on our core therapeutic area, oncology,” Lanfear said in the news release. “Additionally, this divestiture will allow us to reduce our headcount and overhead costs, enhancing our sustainable and growing oncology business.”

Keren Haruvi, president of Sandoz North America, said in a news release2 the deal fits with the company’s portfolio.

“I am pleased that we can add another high-value product to the growing Sandoz biosimilar portfolio, further strengthening our existing ophthalmology franchise,” Haruvi said in a news release. “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 US.”

According to the Sandoz news release the CIMERLI solution for injections 0.3 mg (6 mg/mL) and 0.5 mg (10 mg/mL) is an FDA-approved biosimilar to reference ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech) that is indicated for the treatment of several retinal diseases, including wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, macular edema following retinal vein occlusion, myopic choroidal neovascularization and diabetic retinopathy. It is an anti-VEGF therapy within a class of biologics that helps retinal patients maintain or gain vision, and was approved by the FDA in August 2022 and launched in October of that year.3

According to the companies, closing is expected during the first half of 2024 and will hinge upon certain closing conditions and approvals, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

  1. Inc CB. Coherus Announces Agreement to Divest Ophthalmology Franchise to Sandoz in $170 Million Upfront All Cash Deal. GlobeNewswire News Room. Published January 22, 2024. Accessed January 22, 2024. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2024/01/22/2812687/0/en/Coherus-Announces-Agreement-to-Divest-Ophthalmology-Franchise-to-Sandoz-in-170-Million-Upfront-All-Cash-Deal.html
  2. Sandoz.com. Published 2024. Accessed January 22, 2024. https://www.sandoz.com/sandoz-announces-agreement-acquire-cimerlir-business-coherus-strengthening-position-us-market/
  3. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Anti-VEGF Treatments. July 26, 2023. Accessed January 19, 2024. Anti-VEGF Treatments – American Academy of Ophthalmology (aao.org)
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