Sometimes diversification doesn't work

Teva Pharmaceuticals and the Lonza Group AG said Thursday they are ending their joint venture, which was supposed to help each drug company develop biosimilar medication.

However, part of the impetus to cancel the deal is that Lonza was struggling with a different part of its operation: wood treatment.

Yes, wood and pharmaceutical products both involve biology, but apparently there was not enough profitable synergy past that connection.

Lonza is a Swiss-based company, but it shut down a microbial plant in Hopkinton, Mass., and will shift its wood treatment efforts back to Switzerland. About 250 jobs were lost.

Teva, which is trying to cut $1.5 billion to $2 billion out of its budget by 2015, is trying to pare back where it can.

"Teva has a track record of success in the biologics arena and we plan to continue and build on that success," Teva's Michael Hayden, president of global research and development said in a statement. "This decision supports our ability to maintain a highly selective approach in our efforts to create a balanced portfolio of biosimilars, biobetters and innovative biologics that align with our overall portfolio and areas of disease focus, and by doing so better support our patients in these areas."

Teva is based in Israel, but its Americas headquarters is in North Wales, Montgomery County.