미분류

Biosimilar manufacturers to tackle cancer

By 황유미
  • Published : Sept 6, 2016 - 17:46
  • Updated : Sept 6, 2016 - 18:02
[THE INVESTOR  South Korean biopharmaceutical companies are shifting their focus to biosimilars of cancer treatment drugs as a number of blockbuster originals hit the patent cliff, according to the industry on Sept. 5.

Samsung Bioepis will seek approval for breast cancer treatment SB3 from European Medicines Agency within this month. Its reference drug Herceptin has recorded US$6.8 billion sales in 2015 and its patent expired in 2014. The company also found that SB3 is equally effective for gastric cancer. 

A screen welcoming visitors to Samsung BioLogics. The Investor 

Also in the pipeline is a biosimilar of Avastin, a colon cancer treatment, while its affiliate Samsung Biologics is developing knockoff of blood cancer drug Rituxan.

Celltrion already filed for approval to sell Truxima, its biosimilar replication of Rituxan, in Europe in October 2015. The firm’s Herzuma, referencing Herceptin, has been approved for sale in South Korea.

The pharmaceutical industry is swinging to biological medications from the conventional drugs made of pure chemical substances, and the market share in 2014 increased to 23 percent from 14 percent of 2006.

Biosimilar, highly similar to the reference product, have no clinically meaningful differences but can be prescribed at a much cheaper price point.

A total of eight blockbuster original products are facing patent expiry by 2020. Their combined sales in 2015 is estimated to be US$63.5 billion.

By Hwang You-mee (glamazon@heraldcorp.com)