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THE INVESTOR

Bio & Medicine

Samsung Bioepis’ Remicade biosimilar unlikely to hurt Celltrion’s US sales

  • PUBLISHED :May 11, 2017 - 17:12
  • UPDATED :May 11, 2017 - 17:12
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[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Bioepis’ looming US launch of Renflexis, a biosimilar of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade, will not hurt Celltrion which began shipping its own copycat version late last year, an analyst said on May 11.

Celltrion and Samsung Bioepis are poised to compete in the US market with their biosimilar referencing J&J’s top selling arthritis treatment Remicade -- Inflectra and Renflexis -- as the latter won US approval in April. Remicade’s sales in the country reached US$4.45 billion last year.




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“Samsung Bioepis’ Renflexis launch will deal a blow to J&J’s original drug rather than Celttrion’s Inflectra. The duo will emerge as a strong players in the market,” said Huh Hye-min at Hi Investment & Securities.

Renflexis won’t spell doom for Celltrion given that the company’s US entry is about one year ahead of Samsung Bioepis and it has large volume of clinical data on Inflectra, she added.

“Celltrion is also developing subcutaneous version of Inflectra aiming to unveil it in 2019 when we expect the competition among biosimilar makers will heat up,” Huh said.

Renflexis is the fifth biosimilar approved in the US and the second Remicade copycat to get sales approval. It is expected to hit the US pharmacies shelves between September and December this year.

Celltrion’s Inflectra entered the US market through its distribution partner Pfizer from late November with sales reaching US$17 million in the first quarter of this year.

“Until Renflexis hits the market, Inflectra is the only Remicade biosimilar so it has the advantage of being able to boost market share,” she said.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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