Biopharmaceutical company Alvotech and Cipla Medpro, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the global pharmaceutical company Cipla Limited (BSE: 500087; NSE: CIPLA EQ) have entered into an exclusive partnership to bring key biosimilars to patients in emerging markets such as South Africa.

The biosimilar portfolio will include five biosimilar medicines – two for oncology and three for treating auto-immune diseases.

Biologics or biological products – medicines made from living organisms through highly complex manufacturing processes – have revolutionised the treatment of life-threatening and chronic diseases, including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Because of the complex production processes, the cost of biologics is often higher than chemical drugs and therefore only a small percentage of patients are able to access these treatments. Biosimilars will helps to reduce the cost of medication in the same way that generics helped to bring down the cost of medication.

Cipla aims to transform the biosimlar market by increasing access as part of its ethos of “caring for life” and ensuring access to high quality, affordable medicine.

Under the partnership, Alvotech will be responsible for development and supply of the products, while Cipla will be responsible for the registration and commercialization.