Biosimilar Business Roundup: July 2020

Although the pandemic continues to affect health care companies worldwide, biosimilar manufacturers continue to move forward with new product developments and business plans.
 
Skylar Jeremias
July 31, 2020
As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wreaks havoc on global economies and health care systems, biosimilar companies continue to make pivotal business decisions and move forward with their products in hopes of coming out of this crisis ahead and unfazed.

Here is a summary of some of the major biosimilar business news for the month of July 2020.

Biosimilar Product Announcements

Cadila Pharmaceuticals of Ahmedabad, India, executed on its plans to make 2020 a year for multiple biosimilar launches—with 2 launches just a week apart.

On July 22, the company’s bevacizumab biosimilar, Bevaro, hit the market and was made available in single-dose vials of 100 mg and 400 mg for treatment of patients with ovarian cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, and kidney cancer.

A week later, Cadila announced the launch of Ritucad, its rituximab biosimilar, on the Indian market for the treatment non-Hodgkin lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, ovarian cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer, and kidney cancer.

Additionally, China-based Bio-Thera Solutions signed an agreement with Russian biopharmaceutical company, Pharmapark, to market Bio-Thera’s yet-unapproved golimumab (BAT2506) biosimilar in Europe and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.

BAT2506 is a proposed biosimilar to Jansen’s Simponi. The reference product has indications for the treatment of moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

In addition, a new project involving the collaboration between Republic of Korea-based PanGen Biotech, Malaysia-based Duopharma Biotech Bhd and VentureTECH, an investment company backed by the Malaysian government, will include the development of the world’s first halal biosimilar: PanGen’s epoetin alfa molecule (Erisa, Eryssa).

The plans include the construction of a commercial biosimilar production center in Malaysia that is expected to be completed in 2024.

Biosimilar Business Decisions

In July, Samsung Biologics, a major shareholder in biosimilar manufacturer Samsung Bioepis, announced that it is looking into adding a fourth bioreactor plant and bio campus to its Incheon, Republic of Korea site. The company’s existing 3 plants are expected to reach full capacity by 2022.

Additionally, Samsung Bioepis is gearing up for a legal fight against Genentech, which filed a complaint against Samsung Bioepis claiming the Republic of Korea-based company infringed 14 patents related to the development of its bevacizumab biosimilar (SB8), which references Genentech’s Avastin.

India-based Biocon announced big plans to take its biosimilars unit, Biocon Biologics, public by 2023, although some experts wonder if the move will be successful. The plan also calls into question whether Biocon’s deals with Mylan will be affected by an abundance of new investor stakeholders.

Biocon Biologics teamed up with Voluntis, a digital products health care company, to market an FDA-approved digital product that provides dose recommendations for insulin to help patients with diabetes more easily manage their condition. The agreement will allow Biocon Biologics to distribute the product (Insulia) in several worldwide markets.

Poland-based Polpharma said that it’s close to finishing the full integration of Dutch company Bioceros and its cell line development platform, which it acquired 4 years ago. Polpharma said that Bioceros’ cell line development platform will aid in developing novel biologics and biosimilars.

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