An agreement was signed with Nobel Pharmaceuticals for the manufacturing of a biosimilar in Turkey, which was developed jointly by IBG and OzBio and is used in the treatment of a rare disease.

The cell clone producing the biosimilar of a pharmaceutical that is used in the treatment of a rare disease and is imported each year for tens of millions of dollars was developed by IBG in partnership with US-based OzBio in the laboratories of the IBG-FARMA platform. The next phases required to manufacture pharmaceuticals from this developed cell clone will be led by Nobel Pharmaceuticals, thanks to an agreement implemented with the ‘cooperation before competition’ model, where TÜBİTAK will be the catalyst.

The signing ceremony took place in Istanbul on 18 October 2021, and was attended by TÜBİTAK President Prof. Dr. Hasan MANDAL, IBG Chair of the Board and Acting Director Prof. Dr. Ahmet YOZGATLIGİL, Dokuz Eylül University Vice Rector Prof. Dr. Fatma Duygu ÖZEL DEMİRALP, Nobel Pharmaceuticals Chair of the Board Hasan ULUSOY and OzBio CEO Dr. Sadettin ÖZTÜRK.

In his speech at the signing ceremony, TÜBİTAK President Prof. Dr. Hasan MANDAL said “I hope that the cooperation before competition that was initiated will demonstrate that following the fast completion of clinical trials, our country will not only deliver traditional products but also products manufactured with innovative technologies and which have high added values. We are here to support companies in this cooperation. We are working hard towards the development of pharmaceuticals and vaccines which have gained significance during the pandemic, in order to decrease Turkey’s foreign dependency. There is great effort not just to use technology but to be a country that designs, develops and produces it from scratch.”

IBG Chair of the Board Prof. Dr. Ahmet YOZGATLIGİL stated that “Together with the 28 research groups and R&D platforms, we continue to enhance our national mission. Through our workforce and technical infrastructure, we aim to develop service and products in the areas of cancer, genomics, bioinformatics, bioengineering, immunology, stem cells and regeneration in order to contribute to universal science and prevent global health problems.”

Nobel Pharmaceuticals Chair of the Board Hasan ULUSOY told the audience they started their investments in biotechnology in 2014, and went on to say “We have come together as four organisations to enable the local development and manufacturing of this pharmaceutical used for a rare disease. The cooperation has a much deeper meaning for our country than just the development of a pharmaceutical. I hope the initiative will be successful and inspire may organisations, universities and companies. This kind of cooperation is a long-awaited and missed one. It means a lot for us for the industry to cooperate with universities, conduct R&D work and manufacture pharmaceuticals.”