Coherus Announces Strong Early Sales for Pegfilgrastim Biosimilar, Udenyca

In its announcement, the drug maker said that its Udenyca sales are expected to be in the range of $36 million to $38 million.

Coherus BioSciences, maker of the pegfilgrastim biosimilar Udenyca, has announced its preliminary unaudited sales for the first quarter of 2019. In its announcement, the drug maker said that its Udenyca sales are expected to be in the range of $36 million to $38 million.

The company says that it will discuss its sales in further detail after the data are reported in its Form 10-Q for the quarter, and it will provide additional financial updates on May 9, 2019.

The biosimilar developer brought its pegfilgrastim biosimilar to the US market on January 3, 2019, with a comprehensive launch that included 340B hospitals and non-340B hospitals and clinics. The company launched the product at a list price of $4175 per unit, or a 33% discount to the reference pegfilgrastim, Neulasta. Udenyca’s list price matches that of Mylan’s Fulphila, the first pegfilgrastim biosimilar to launch in the United States, although these list prices do not reflect any rebates that may be provided by the respective drug makers.

The early sales numbers for the biosimilar pegfilgrastim reflect the success of what Coherus’ president and chief executive officer, Dennis M. Lanfear, has called the company’s “branded approach” to the product’s launch.

During the recent 37th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Lanfear said that “Our approach is that of a branded launch…this has never been done before with a biosimilar.” This strategy involves a focus on payers, integrated delivery networks, and group purchasing organizations that consolidate purchasing for clinics and hospitals, as well as provider segments comprising community oncology clinics, 340B hospitals, and non-340B hospitals, he explained.

In addition to Udenyca, Coherus is currently advancing 2 additional late-stage biosimilar programs: an adalimumab biosimilar referencing Humira and an etanercept biosimilar referencing Enbrel. It is also developing ophthalmology biosimilars, including ranibizumab, referencing Lucentis, and aflibercept, referencing Eylea. It is also developing CHS-131, a novel small-molecule agent that is intended to treat both nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and multiple sclerosis.

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