Rare Disease

A small, yet rapidly growing segment of commercially insured US patients have drug costs of more than $250,000 each year, and this group could account for 15% of all drug expenditures in the next 5 years.
This week, Russian drug maker Generium announced that it has received approval for—and has launched—its biosimilar dornase alfa in the Russian marketplace. Generium’s product is the first biosimilar dornase alfa biosimilar to be approved in any market worldwide.
During this week’s meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, held September 11-13 in Stockholm, Sweden, researchers are presenting new data for eculizumab in the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), a rare autoimmune disorder that typically affects the optic nerves and spinal cord and that can cause significant, irreversible disability.
Last week, Alexion disclosed in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that the European Patent Office did not grant Alexion its request for 2 patents on its brand-name eculizumab product, Soliris, a C5 complement inhibitor that treats rare and ultrarare diseases.
Samsung Bioepis has begun recruiting patients with paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) in India for a phase 3 clinical study of its proposed eculizumab biosimilar, SB12, referencing Soliris.
Drug maker Alexion, developer of the rare disease drug eculizumab (Soliris), announced Friday that the FDA has accepted for priority review its long-acting C5 complement inhibitor, ravulizumab (Ultomiris), which offers less frequent administration than eculizumab. 
Amgen is developing a biosimilar of the drug, ABP 959, and during last week’s 24th Congress of the European Hematology Association, held from June 13-16 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, researchers reported on findings from a phase 1 trial of the proposed product.
The researchers wrote that that a numerically larger proportion of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) stopped or reduced their doses of immunosuppressive therapies than started or increased, and that symptom improvement or worsening were the main reasons for changes to concomitant therapy.
Russian drug manufacturer Generium Pharmaceutical, which specializes in orphan drugs, announced yesterday that it has received Russian marketing approval for its biosimilar eculizumab, referencing Soliris, the most expensive orphan drug in Russia.
On this Rare Disease Day, learn more about how biosimilars are poised to help treat patients with rare diseases. 

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