Alvotech – the biosimilars arm of Icelandic-headquartered generics player Alvogen – is positioning itself for future growth via a very different strategy to that of the Big Pharma players with biosimilar portfolios. Chief Commercial Officer Anil Okay, who sits in Switzerland, explains the four company traits that he believes will lead the firm to success.
“There is no one specific thing about Alvotech that differentiates us, but rather a combination of traits that make us special. The first is that we focus on biosimilars, which we believe is essential for long term success on that front. The focus of our resources from R&D and manufacturing capacity will be required for long-term success in biosimilars.”
“One of the reasons that large pharma has dominated the biosimilar space thus far is their access to scale and capital, which for biosimilars requires a lot. This challenge has also meant that many firms have not been able to jump with both feet into biosimilar development, and some rely on a more virtual set up to get around the barrier of scale, which of course comes with its own set of challenges. Alvotech, through shareholder, partner, and investor support has been able to create and invest on a scale that we believe will be necessary for the next ten years of our life cycle.”
Biosimilars stand to be the single largest and fastest genericization event of my lifetime
Anil Okay, COO, Alvotech
A Differentiated Portfolio Approach
“Biosimilars stand to be the single largest and fastest genericization event of my lifetime. However, at Alvotech we don’t necessarily believe that every market consists of equal products or approaches. There are ways we believe that a company can differentiate itself from others within a biosimilar market and that strategy starts with the development program itself and continues through the commercialization phase.”
“The final piece to our puzzle is our commercial strategy. Earlier in the life of Alvotech there was a healthy debate as to whether we should seek a global partner, operate alone in some or most of the markets, or seek out more local champions. Ultimately, we decided on the local approach, where we have partnered with top firms from around the globe in markets where they dominate. This allows us to maintain a singular focus on what we do best, which is develop, and allows Alvotech to rely on the scale of our partners, which we also think is key. Selecting local and regional players allows us to work with the best in each region rather than dilute the focus with a single global partner.
We position ourselves as a pure play, differentiated, fully vertically integrated biosimilars development and manufacturing company that goes global with partners that are regional champions. While several biosimilar companies prioritise the US market, we go global in collaboration with regional champions; something which has never been done before in the scale that Alvotech does including US/EU/JP/China/Canada and several emerging markets coverage which represents a big hedge for Alvotech’s business model. In contrast to the Big Pharma players with biosimilar portfolios, our single focus is biosimilars and we apply portfolio differentiations to maximize the value.”