In its investor call on Thursday, Coherus Biosciences revealed that it will launch its biosimilar pegfilgrastim, Udenyca, at a 33% discount to the reference Neulasta.
In its investor call on Thursday, Coherus Biosciences revealed that it will launch its biosimilar pegfilgrastim, Udenyca, at a 33% discount to the reference Neulasta. The drug’s launch is slated for January 3, 2019. Udenyca’s list price of $4175 per unit matches Mylan’s price for its biosimilar pegfilgrastim, Fulphila, which launched in the United States in July 2018.
Prior to Coherus’ announcement of its price for its product, Mylan was the only the second biosimilar developer to offer a discount deeper than 30% in the US market; Samsung Bioepis’ infliximab biosimilar, Renflexis, launched at a 35% discount to its reference, but other products, such as Celltrion’s Inflectra and Sandoz’s Zarxio, launched at discounts of just 15%.
Despite the fact that Coherus has matched Mylan on list price for the pegfilgrastim product, these prices do not take into consideration additional rebates and discounts that the drug makers may offer as a means to differentiate their products in the marketplace.
Coherus also noted in its investor call that it has finished hiring approximately 70 sales representatives, covering 7 US regions, to support sales of Udenyca. The company also recently launched a comprehensive website for its provider services, reimbursement support, and patient co-pay assistance program.
Looking to the future, Coherus reported that it plans to file a Biologics License Application for its adalimumab biosimilar referencing Humira, CHS-1420, before the end of 2019. It is also working on 2 biosimilars targeting eye diseases: CHS-3351 (a ranibizumab biosimilar referencing Lucentis) and CHS-2020 (an aflibercept biosimilar referencing Eylea).
Notably, the company, which has thus far focused on biosimilars, also reports that it plans to initiate a phase 2 clinical trial of an innovator small-molecule drug. CHS-131 is a candidate drug for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH.
The diversification into innovator drug development has also been the strategy of other biosimilar developers in recent months; Samsung Bioepis has announced that it is in a phase 1 clinical trial with SB26, an novel ulinastatin-Fc fusion protein, and Celltrion has expanded its pipeline to include innovator biologics for the treatment breast cancer, hepatitis B virus, and rabies.