[THE INVESTOR] GC Pharma confirmed on March 8 that it has attained regulatory approval to sell a copy version of Sanofi’s blockbuster insulin Lantus in Korea.
GC Pharma -- formerly Green Cross -- plans to launch Glarzia Prefilled Pen, a Lantus biosimilar developed by Indian drug maker Biocon, in the third quarter this year, a company official said on March 8.
Under a license deal in 2016, GC Pharma holds exclusive sales marketing rights for Glarzia in Korea. The drug will be Korea’s second biosimilar referencing the original diabetes therapy.
In addition to the original, Glarzia will now compete against Basaglar, another long-acting insulin biosimilar from Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim that’s sold by Eli Lilly. Basaglar was launched last April at a 14 percent discount of the original drug. It recorded some 300 million won (US$282,000) in sales last year.
During the same period, Lantus’ sales stood at 4.62 billion euros (US$5.73 billion). Accumulated revenues over the past two years, however, have been negatively impacted by the launch of cheaper knockoffs. To fend off the growing biosimilar competition, Sanofi launched Toujeo, its own longer-acting basal insulin.
Lantus currently dominates the Korean insulin injection market, which is estimated to be worth around 40 billion won.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)