Tony Hagen is senior managing editor for The Center for Biosimilars®.
Although Pfizer has offered a more attractive discount for its rituximab biosimilar, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Celltrion Healthcare have decided not to match that discount for their own rituximab biosimilar, which is more costly.
Following the launch of their rituximab biosimilar (Truxima) late last year, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Celltrion Healthcare have broadened the conditions for which this product can be used. They are also maintaining their 10%-to-reference product discount on the product despite the recent arrival of a competitor rituximab biosimilar from Pfizer, which is being offered at a 24% discount.
A patent dispute with originator company Genentech held up the availability of Truxima for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, and microscopic polyangiitis.
Today, Teva and Celltrion said in a release that the product is now marketed for these indications also, following FDA supplemental approval received in December 2019.
“We are proud to make Truxima available to patients and providers as a treatment option for these indications, especially as this is the only rituximab biosimilar indicated for rheumatoid arthritis,” said Brendan O’Grady, executive vice president, North America Commercial, Teva.
It was in November of 2019 that Teva and Celltrion announced the initial launch of this product in the United States for the treatment of adults with CD20-positive, B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma either as monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy. The drug was also made available for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
The biosimilar is patterned after Genentech’s reference product Rituxan, which is approved for all of the above indications.
In January, another rituximab biosimilar (Ruxience) was launched in the United States, this one by Pfizer. Although launched in January at a 24% discount to the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of Rituxan, Ruxience is not indicated for rheumatoid arthritis.
Teva, of Tel Aviv, Israel, and Celltrion, of Republic of Korea, have entered into a partnership for commercialization of Truxima in the United States and Canada. Offered at a discount of 10% to Rituxan in the US, Truxima is available through primary wholesalers at a WAC of $845.55 for 100 mg vial and $4227.75 for 500 mg vial.