May 14, 2009 / 1:36 PM / 11 years ago

EU clears Teva, Lonza pharma joint venture

BRUSSELS, May 14 (Reuters) - Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA.TA) and Swiss drugs industry supplier Lonza Group LONN.VX won approval from the European Commission on Thursday for a joint venture in the biosimilar industry.

The European Commission, executive arm of the 27-nation European Union, said in a statement that no competition problems were likely to arise from the proposed venture.

Biosimilars are the generic equivalent of drugs produced using biological processes.

Teva, the world’s biggest maker of generic drugs, and Lonza said in January their venture would develop, manufacture and market a portfolio of products.

The companies are seeking to become a leading global provider of biosimilars or generic versions of biotechnology drugs, which usually generate higher margins than conventional “small molecule” generic drugs.

Reporting by Bate Felix, editing by Darren Ennis

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