Sarfaraz K. Niazi
Sarfaraz K. Niazi, Ph.D., a leading authority on today’s biologic drug industry. Founder and Chairman of TheraProteins (TPI), a pure play biosimilar company located in Chicago, he is leveraging his diverse background and experiences to revolutionize the way biologics are made with the goal of enabling greater access to high quality, life-changing biosimilars. Niazi began his career in pharma at the University of Illinois, College of Pharmacy where he was a tenured professor before entering industry at Abbott Laboratories as Director of Technical Affairs in its international Division. Throughout his experiences, he witnessed a global disparity that fueled his passion for making high quality biologics affordable and accessible to people in need. He departed Abbott as a Volwiler Fellow to pursue that goal, first through consulting and soon thereafter through the founding of TPI.
Competition in the small molecule market is clearly divided into two categories, brand and generic companies. Of course, some brand companies have generic businesses and some traditional generic companies such as Teva have launched their own brand products. But for the most part, the small molecule market is comprised of brand and generic players. With the biosimilars market, we’re seeing a competitive landscape that goes beyond the traditional brand/generic paradigm. Traditional brand companies such as Pfizer, Amgen and Merck are developing biosimilars, as are major generic companies such as Sandoz, Hospira and Apotex. But all these companies have business in areas outside their biosimilars unit as well, be it in novel drug development or in generic manufacturing. Pure Play biosimilar companies have a sole focus: developing biosimilars. Since these companies did not exist prior to the creation of the biosimilars market, they face many challenges and opportunities that other established competitors are without, ranging from financing to commercilization. This presentation will explore both the risk and benefit associated with competiting in the biosimilars market as a pure play company, and provide insight into how these risks and benefits differ from those of an established generic or brand company.