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National Psoriasis Foundation declares biosimilar stance

One of the leading psoriasis patient associations in the US, the National Psoriasis Foundation, has publically declared its stance on biosimilars. In an open letter to FDA, the Foundation issued a statement on the implementation of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation (BPCI) Act of 2009 [1].

Fujifilm and Kyowa Hakko Kirin in biosimilars joint venture

Japanese Fujifilm Corporation announced on 16 November 2011 that it is once again making an agreement in the biosimilars field, this time with biotech firm Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Tokyo, Japan.

New Amgen Enbrel patent could block biosimilars until 2028

Amgen announced on 22 November 2011 that it had been granted a new US patent on its blockbuster drug Enbrel (etanercept).

Acino grabs Cephalon’s Middle East and African business

Switzerland-based generics company Acino Pharma announced on 14 October 2011 that it had agreed to buy biopharmaceutical company Cephalon ’s combined Middle East and African business in a transaction worth approximately Euros 80 million.

Natco snaps up biosimilars: signing deal with Mabxience

Indian generic drugmaker Natco Pharma announced that it had entered into an exclusive agreement with Mabxience, the biosimilar division of Swiss firm Chemo Sa Lugano, on 19 September 2011.

Battle rages over anti-thrombotic medicine

Sandoz/Momenta are ahead again in the fight for the lucrative anticoagulants market in the US. According to IMS Health data enoxaparin sodium injection is the best-selling hospital medicine in the US, and has been described as the ‘gold standard’ for anti-thrombotic treatments. Lovenox, sanofi-aventis’ reference product, recorded US sales of US$2.7 billion in 2009 and has been used to treat an estimated 200 million patients worldwide since it was launched.

US$1 billion for cancer R & D

GE Healthcare, the health business of General Electric, provides advanced cancer diagnostic and molecular imaging capabilities, as well as technologies for the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals and for cancer research. Its presence at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011 in Stockholm indicated its commitment to strengthening cancer diagnosis and care. Similarly at the 53rd Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology Meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, USA, it was showcasing a number of new tools designed specifically for the needs of radiation oncologists.

FDA new drug approvals up in 2011: 900 biotech drugs in development

FDA had already approved 26 new drugs by the end of August 2011 compared to only 21 approved in 2010. Of note were six cancer drugs and two ground-breaking drugs for hepatitis C. The current year looks likely set a record for recent years for new drug approvals, which may total 35–40 by the end of 2011. After a slow start in the first two months with three new drug approvals and nine rejections in January and February 2011, FDA approved four new drugs, two of which were monoclonal antibodies, in March and five in April. Of the 11 new drugs approved in the first four months, only three biologicals were approved.

Biocon announces Malaysia manufacturing plant

Biocon, a global biopharmaceutical company with high-tech manufacturing and research arms, announced in September 2011 ‘project commencement for its first high-end biopharmaceutical manufacturing and R & D facility in Bio-XCell, Malaysia’ [1]. Malaysia, epitomised by the Bio-XCell biotechnology park, is considered ‘an ideal location to manufacture generics’ by industry analysts Frost & Sullivan.

Biosimilar user fees proposal under review

Proposals over biosimilar user fees appear to have been ratified by stakeholders and a proposal is now under review by the US Department of Health and Human Services.