The Top 5 Biosimilar Stories for the First Half of 2020

The Center for Biosimilars® recaps the top stories from the first half of 2020.

Hi, I’m Skylar Jeremias for The Center for Biosimilars®, your resource for clinical, regulatory, business, and policy news in the rapidly changing world of biosimilars.

The first half of 2020 has been a whirlwind time for the pharmaceutical industry in general between product launches, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic causing companies to shift focus, to the World Health Organization (WHO) taking action to increase biosimilar access. Only time will tell what the rest of 2020 will hold for biosimilars.

Here are the top 5 biosimilars stories from January through June of 2020.

Number 5: In late 2019, Gilead Sciences submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA for filgotinib under the priority review process. Filgotinib is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor aimed at moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Number 4: Stymied in its attempts to move forward with construction of a $514 million biosimilars manufacturing facility in Wuhan, China, Celltrion is trying another business strategy that may tide it through the current global economic crisis: It has joined the hunt for an antiviral treatment for COVID-19.

Number 3: As part of pilot program designed to improve access to cheaper medications in oncology, a rituximab biosimilar from Celltrion has been approved for use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Number 2: In early January, Pfizer launched its bevacizumab biosimilar on the US market, Zirabev and priced it at a 23% discount to the WAC of reference product Avastin.

Number 1: The FDA’s new focus on COVID-19 and the quarantines imposed on much of the developed world have pushed digital and remote marketing of pharmaceutical products into high gear, according to Jamie Peck, managing director of iON.

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