[THE INVESTOR] Celltrion
on April 18 said its Truxima, a biosimilar version of Roche’s blockbuster lymphatic cancer treatment Rituxan, has hit shelves in the UK.
The company said Truxima is being supplied to some 50 UK hospitals since April through retail partners -- Celltrion Healthcare and UK-based Napp.
Celltrion is upbeat about the European entry as the first biosimilar drug for blood cancer is largely expected to reshape the overall market.
“It may be too early to talk about its success but the initial market reaction is positive,” said a company official. “We will elevate our market share before rival drugs hit the market.”
Truxima’s debut comes as Celltrion’s first biosimilar Remsima, referencing Johnson & Johnson’s inflammatory disorder drug Remicade, is quickly overtaking the original drug’s sales in Europe since its launch in 2015.
Roche’s top-selling drug Rituxan, which lost its patent protection in 2013 in Europe, generated over US$7 billion in global sales in 2016. Currently, Europe makes up almost half its total sales.
Celltrion plans to promote Truxima in Europe along with its marketing partners Mundipharma, Biogaran and Kern.
The company forecasts its three biosimilar products -- Remsima, Truxima and Herzuma, a copycat of a breast cancer treatment Herceptin of Genetech -- will earn almost US$3 billion in two to three years when their sales are in full swing.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org