February 9, 2011 / 7:43 AM / 6 years ago

Novartis unit has 10 biosimilars in pipeline-paper

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FRANKFURT, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Novartis's NOVN.VX generics unit Sandoz is working on eight to 10 new biosimilar molecules to cement its position as leading maker of copycat versions of pricey biotech drugs, the unit's head told Handelsblatt.

The drug candidates are in varying stages of development, the head of Sandoz, Jeff George, was quoted as saying in the German paper's Wednesday edition.

With three biosimilars on the market, the Swiss firm has a leading position in the industry and smaller competitors will struggle to keep up with research and development costs, he added.

Development costs for a single molecule, range from $50 million to $200 million or more, George said. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by David Holmes)

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