Roman Drai, MD, PhD, deputy director and head of clinical operations at Geropharm, discussed Geropharm’s budding biosimilar pipeline and the company’s international pursuits during the World Biosimilar Congress USA 2020 at the Festival of Biologics USA in San Diego, California.
Roman Drai, MD, PhD is the deputy director and head of clinical operations at Geropharm.
Can you describe Geropharm's biosimilar development and strategies for international marketing?
Geropharm is a Russian biopharmaceutical company and we produce small biosimilars and are concentrated on insulins. Now, in our pipeline, we have quite a lot of insulins [including] ultra-short-, short-, medium-, and long-acting insulins. We can cover all of the Russian market, and not only the Russian market but some other markets as well. So, we have quite a good capacity to do this. Now, in our pipeline we have not only insulins but some other peptides. I'm not sure whether I can tell you about those because they are in the early stages of development. Speaking about our global strategy, we understand that in Russia, over the last year, we got market authorizations in Russia for 3 of our insulins. And that's why we started also thinking about going abroad. We started in emerging markets from Latin America, the Far East, and we have a goal to go into the European market as well. But as for the US market, it's quite tricky for us, because we know that Europe’s journey started in 2006 and they're quite open to biosimilars. They’ve approved, by this time, already 69 biosimilars, while in the United States, [they’ve approved] just 26, and not all of them launched. We understand that the US market doesn't [embrace] biosimilars as well as the European market, because quite a lot of lobbying from big pharmaceutical companies is behind this. We see this not only in the US, but also in Russia. We are fighting with those companies. But I see that some of the US initiatives have led to an improvement for biosimilars. Still, we are not considering going to the United States at this moment, but let’s see.