Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Switzerland's Lonza have pulled the plug on their biosimilars joint venture.

The companies set up the JV at the beginning of 2009 but following a strategic review, they have decided to discontinue their collaboration for the development, manufacturing and marketing of biosimilars. Teva and Lonza say the termination of the project "will enable both companies to better advance their own strategies" and "explore opportunities to maximise the value of the investments and progress that the JV has made to this point".

Teva R&D chief Michael Hayden said the firm has "a track record of success in the biologics arena and we plan to continue and build on that". He added that this decision "supports our ability to maintain a highly selective approach in our efforts to create a balanced portfolio of biosimilars, biobetters and innovative biologics that align with our overall portfolio".

Stephan Kutzer, chief operating officer for Lonza's pharma and biotech segment, stated that with the discontinuation of the JV, "we will cease investing in areas that are not strategic to Lonza such as clinical developments and end product commercialisation". He went on to say that "in our assessment, those investments in biosimilar will require more capital than initially planned and will also take more time until they reach the market".

Dr Kutzer concluded by saying that "this is why we intend in the future to limit our role by focusing on our core expertise in the areas of contract manufacturing and cell line development.”