(New throughout; adds NEW YORK dateline)
NEW YORK, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Human Genome Sciences Inc HGSI.O will supply Hospira Inc HSP.N with biopharmaceutical products, under an agreement announced on Thursday, as the latter company boosts its investment in the new market for generic versions of biotech medicines.
Human Genome said the deal would allow it to use its excess capacity for its manufacturing facilities that make biotechnology medicines, which are more complicated to make than traditional chemically derived pills.
Companies like Hospira are waiting for a regulatory pathway to be created in the United States for generic versions of biotech medicines, but have started to make investments in the area.
The deal allows Hospira, one of the largest makers of generic injectable drugs, to defer the immediate need to invest in more of its own manufacturing facilities, John Lane, Hospira’s vice president for biologics, said in a statement.
“The manufacturing alliance ... is representative of Hospira’s commitment to meet future demand for high-quality, cost-effective alternatives to proprietary biopharmaceuticals,” Lane said.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Human Genome said it sees the potential for $30 million to $60 million in revenue from manufacturing alliances, including the Hospira alliance, over the next three to four years.
The companies also did not disclose products involved in the deal.
In Europe, where a regulatory pathway for “biogenerics” exists, Hospira won approval in December to sell Retacrit, a generic version of erythropoietin, as a treatment for anemia associated with chronic renal failure and chemotherapy.
Hospira shares fell slid cents to $39.88 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Human Genome shares fell 15 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $6.77 on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, editing by Maureen Bavdek)