Pfizer, Biocon call off sales agreement

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NEW YORK (AP) — Drugmakers Pfizer and Biocon are calling off an agreement to sell Biocon's insulin and the generic version of several insulin products.

The companies say the individual priorities of their so-called biosimilars businesses made them decide to move forward independently.

Biosimilars are medicines similar to biologic drugs but not identical in the way generic drugs are copies of brand-name pills. Biologic drugs are complex, injected drugs manufactured from living cells, rather than by mixing chemical compounds together and turning them into pills.

Pfizer said in 2010 it would pay an initial $200 million to India-based Biocon for the right to sell several insulin products used to treat diabetes. It also agreed to pay Biocon as much as $150 million more in milestone payments.

Shares of Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, are up 6 cents to $21.60 in premarket trading.

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