Pfizer Announces Launch Dates for 2 More Anticancer Biosimilars: Ruxience and Trazimera

Albert Bourla, DVM, PhD, Pfizer’s chief executive officer, announced during the company’s third quarter 2019 earnings call that Pfizer has set launch dates for its biosimilar rituximab, Ruxience (referencing Rituxan), and trastuzumab, Trazimera (referencing Herceptin).
Kelly Davio
October 29, 2019
Albert Bourla, DVM, PhD, Pfizer’s chief executive officer, announced during the company’s third quarter 2019 earnings call that Pfizer has set launch dates for its biosimilar rituximab, Ruxience (referencing Rituxan), and trastuzumab, Trazimera (referencing Herceptin).

According to Bourla, Ruxience will become commercially available in January 2020, and Trazimera will follow on February 15, 2020. The company previously confirmed that it plans to launch its biosimilar bevacizumab, Zirabev, on December 31, 2019.

Ruxience was approved in July of this year for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis. Trazimera was approved in March of this year for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer and metastatic gastric cancer. Zirabev was approved in June of this year for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer, non–small cell lung cancer, recurrent glioblastoma, metastatic renal cell carcinoma, and cervical cancer.

During his comments, Bourla also noted that Pfizer’s efforts to encourage biosimilar-friendly policies and legislation are beginning to bear fruit. “None of our breakthroughs will do any good if patients cannot afford them,” said Bourla, adding that “our proposals regarding biosimilars have been well received,” and bipartisan legislation to promote biosimilars in the United States is advancing.

Bourla indicated that key objectives for Pfizer products in general include reducing patients’ out-of-pocket costs, and aggressively pursing value-based reimbursement that will link reimbursement with outcomes.  

In terms of Pfizer’s existing biosimilars business, biosimilar infliximab, Inflectra, which treats inflammatory diseases, saw 8% growth in the United States over 2018, rising from $71 million to $77 million (unaudited). Worldwide, however, sales of the same product, sold as Remsima in other territories, were down by 7%, falling from $166 million in 2018 to $155 million (unaudited).

Biosimilar epoetin alfa, Retacrit, brought in $64 million worldwide, and $42 million in the United States.

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