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Hospira in Erythropoietin Pact

It and two other companies will help develop a biosimilar version.

Drug delivery company




Stada Arzneimittel

and biosimilar products company

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Bioceuticals Arzneimittel

said Monday that they signed an agreement to develop and market a biosimilar version of erythropoietin.

Erythropoietin is a naturally occurring protein hormone produced in the body by the kidney. Therapeutic erythropoietin is used primarily in the treatment of anemia in dialysis and in certain oncology applications, the company said.

Under the agreement, Lake Forest, Ill.-based company would get exclusive distribution rights for the product in EU and several other European countries except Germany (where its rights are semi-exclusive), and will retain exclusive rights in US and Canada. Additionally, Hospira holds a first right of refusal for the distribution rights in all other countries.

"The collaboration will help expand the availability of a more cost-effective alternative to EPO medications currently on the market, furthering our ability to take additional costs out of the global healthcare system," Hospira said.

This story was created through a joint venture between and IRIS.