[THE INVESTOR] Celltrion Healthcare said on March 20 that it has signed distribution contracts with partners to sell Herzuma, its version of Roche’s breast cancer therapy Herceptin, in Europe.
Under the agreements, the Korean company’s existing European partners, including Mundipharma, Kern Pharma and Orion will be in charge of marketing the biologic drug across the continent.
Celltrion Healthcare will launch Herzuma in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain by June to make it in time for big hospital tenders in the second half of 2018. The five countries account for 70 percent of its total sales in Europe.
Herzuma is the third biosimilar from its biopharma affiliate Celltrion’s portfolio approved by the European Commission in February. The firm has launched Remsima, a copy version of Johnson & Johnson‘s Remicade in 2015 and Truxima, knockoff of Roche’s Rituxan there in 2017.
The Incheon-based firm will seek to take a bite out of some 2.45 trillion won (US$2.28 billion) sales that the original drug Herceptin generated in Europe.
Meanwhile, Celltrion Healthcare said it is conducting clinical trials to shorten the time required for the intravenous infusion of Herzuma to 30 minutes from 90 minutes to enhance its competitiveness over rival drugs.
Another Korean biosimilar maker Samsung Bioepis has already launched its Herceptin biosimilar in the UK through MSD this month to become the first company to bring a cheaper copy of the blockbuster anti-cancer drug to Europe.
By Park Han-na (firstname.lastname@example.org)