Royal DSM NV has confirmed that Percivia – its biosimilars joint venture (JV) with Crucell - is to cease in-house product development after failing to agree on future investment and says that job losses are likely.
Rumours Percivia would abandon biosimilar development work sufaced last week in a series of unconfirmed reports that suggested the Massachusetts, US-based JV would instead focus on its PER.C6 cell line technology licensing business.
DSM spokesman Guy Tiene confirmed the reports, telling in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: “The shareholders and management of Percivia have decided to restructure the company and as part of that restructuring the PER.C6 biosimilar product development business will be terminated."
He added that: “Percivia is not being liquidated, the company will continue to exist and will focus on the existing licensing business” adding that “as a result of this restructuring there will be some redundancies.”
Tiene also confirmed that the move was a result of DSM and Crucell’s failure to agree on further joint investment in the company, but stressed that both firms would continue to use the PER.C6 technology in their own businesses.
The decision follows less than two years after DSM and Crucell decided to tranform Percivia from a PER.C6 development center to a full biosimilars company with production capabilites for protein-based drugs and antibodies.
The move also comes just over a year after US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) completed its $2.3bn (€1.75bn) acqusition of Netherlands-based Crucell.