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FDA gives some insight into biosimilar pathway

FDA has outlined some of the requirements it intends to include in its biosimilars approval process in an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine [1]. The article is intended to give drugmakers, investors and other interested parties more insight into the approval process for biosimilars.

Partnerships will drive biosimilar development

With biosimilars tipped to become a multibillion-dollar market in the coming years, everybody is jumping on the biosimilars bandwagon, and it seems it’s not just limited to pharmaceutical companies.

Does industry support biosimilar user fees in the US?

According to FDA, biopharmaceutical trade groups are supportive of its proposal for biosimilar user fees, with sponsors paying an up-front fee with their applications.

Caution over IP provisions for biologicals in TPP

The US Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) has expressed its concerns over negotiations currently taking place on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Merck enters biosimilars deal with Korea’s Hanwha

US pharma giant Merck announced on 13 June 2011 an exclusive deal with South Korea’s Hanwha Chemical Corporation to develop and commercialise a biosimilar version of Amgen and Pfizer’s blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel (etanercept).

Lupin and Neuclone biosimilars agreement

Indian generics manufacturer Lupin Pharmaceuticals has signed an agreement with Australian biotech firm NeuClone to access cell line technology to be used to develop biosimilar drugs targeting cancer.

Positive results for phase I trial of biosimilar erythropoietin

Hospira, self-proclaimed leader in injectable generics, announced on 6 September 2011 positive results from a phase I clinical trial of its biosimilar erythropoietin (EPO) carried out in the US in patients with anaemia associated with chronic renal (kidney) failure and chemotherapy.

Stada and Richter to collaborate on biosimilar development

German generics giant Stada Arzneimittel (Stada) and Hungary-based Gedeon Richter (Richter) announced on 30 August 2011 that the two companies have signed licence and collaboration agreements for the development and marketing of two biosimilars.

China’s 5-year biotech investment fires clear warning to US

The Chinese Government has targeted biotechnology as a ‘strategic pillar’ industry, and has pledged to spend 2 trillion yuan (Euros 213. 3 billion; US$308.5 billion) on science and technology in the next five years alone [1]. This has sent out a clear warning to the US Government that China aims to become the world’s pioneer in biotechnology in the short to medium term. In response, despite being under increasing pressure to reduce overall health expenditure, the US Government has resisted calls to cut funding and pledged US$ 32 billion to its National Institutes of Health biomedical research programme for 2012 [2].

Is FDA requesting too much data to allow biosimilars to succeed in the US

The FDA’s recently published plans for a biosimilar approval pathway are facing increasing scrutiny. In an interview with Scientific American, Novel Health Strategies’ biosimilar market entry advisor, Dr Saurabh Aggarwal, said that the level of data required by FDA is too much for biosimilars to be able to succeed [1].

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