[THE INVESTOR] Celltrion said on Nov. 3 it has signed a manufacturing supply agreement with US pharma firm Baxter for its biosimilar products in a bid to tap deeper into the US market.
Baxter BioPharma Solutions, the contract manufacturing arm of Baxter, will handle filling and finishing of Celltrion’s Remsima, its version referencing Johnson & Johnson’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade. The Korean company also plans to outsource the finished dosage form of Truxima, a biosimilar of Roche’s Rituxan, and Herzuma, a copycat of Roche’s breast cancer treatment Herceptin from Baxter BioPharma Solutions.
“The CMO contract will allow Celltrion to flexibly respond to demand by securing a manufacturing base in the US -- the world’s largest biopharmaceutical market,” Celltrion said in a press release.
A Celltrion official told The Investor that the financial terms and production volume have not been decided. Except the fill and finish operations, rest of the drug manufacturing process will be carried out at Celltrion’s plant in Incheon, he said.
The partnership will enable Celltrion to better access the US market which it entered last year after its first biosimilar Inflectra was launched by Pfizer.
Citing Inflectra’s slow US sales growth, Pfizer filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in September, saying its rival’s contracts with health insurers for Remicade, were anti-competitive and blocked sales of Celltrion and Pfizer’s biosimilar.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)