In a strategic move aimed at strengthening its focus on oncology and alleviating debt, Coherus BioSciences has entered into a definitive agreement to divest its Cimerli (ranibizumab-eqrn) ophthalmology franchise to Sandoz for a total consideration of $170 million in cash, plus associated Cimerli inventory costs.
The transaction includes the transfer of Coherus' Cimerli biologics license application, ophthalmology sales, select field reimbursement teams, Cimerli product inventory on hand, and access to proprietary commercial software.
The decision to divest the ophthalmology assets comes after Coherus successfully gained a solid foothold in the market since entering the ophthalmology sector in 2022.
Denny Lanfear, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coherus, emphasized the strategic nature of the move in a company news release, stating, "Since entering the ophthalmology market in 2022, we have 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 further highlighted the broader implications of the divestiture, explaining that it will enable Coherus to streamline its operations, reduce headcount, and cut overhead costs. This, in turn, will contribute to enhancing the sustainability and growth of the company's oncology business.
Coherus BioSciences' oncology portfolio includes the Udenyca (pegfilgrastim-cbqv) franchise, boasting three FDA-approved presentations, Loqtorzi (toripalimab-tpzi), an FDA-approved next-generation PD-1 inhibitor, and a promising immuno-oncology pipeline featuring next-generation tumor microenvironment oncology drug candidates.
The closing of the divestiture is anticipated in the first half of 2024, contingent upon meeting closing conditions and obtaining necessary approvals. This includes the expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The move aligns with Coherus BioSciences' strategic vision and positions the company for sustained success in the dynamic pharmaceutical landscape.