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Darbepoetin Alfa Biosimilar Is on Tap for Persian Gulf


Chong Kun Dang of the Republic of Korea has entered a licensing deal for the distribution of a darbepoetin alfa biosimilar in the Gulf region.

Two companies have entered a commercialization deal for what they said would be the first darbepoetin alfa biosimilar distributed in the Persian Gulf. Darbepoetin alfa is intended for the treatment of anemia associated with chronic renal failure. In the United States, darbepoetin alfa is distributed as Aranesp, an originator product.

The biosimilar (Nesbell) is currently approved in the Republic of Korea and would be marketed by Menagen Pharmaceutical Industries in the 7-member Arab states of the Persian Gulf: Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The other partner to the deal is Chong Kun Dang Pharmaceutical (CKD), of Republic of Korea. “Through this collaboration with CKD we are establishing our biosimilar footprint in Middle East and Africa markets and reaching more people living with severe chronic diseases. We aim to provide broad accesses to patients with unmet medical needs by leveraging Menagen’s local expertise and capabilities,” CKD said in a statement.

Menagen was described as a biomanufacturing facility based in Muscat, Oman, with plans to expand operations into agents for oncology, hematology, nephrology, and other various medicines. These would include biosimilars and orphan drugs.

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