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Biotech drugs need adequate patent protection

The US government could establish “a properly constructed biosimilars pathway” by providing original developers of biotech drugs with at least 12 years of intellectual property protection to allow them to recover their investments in such treatments, writes former Vermont Governor, Mr Howard Dean, in his commentary. Two bills for follow-on biologics introduced in the House and Senate "include a balanced approach that protects patient safety and encourages research that helps bring new, more advanced treatments – and even cures – to patients around the world," Mr Dean writes.

Europe is biosimilar testing ground, but US will be key market

As the Federal Trade Commission weighs into the biosimilars debate in the US and the Obama administration considers seven years of market exclusivity enough for brand biologicals, new research by independent market analyst Datamonitor predicts that the success of the emerging biosimilars industry hinges on access to this market. With Japan receiving approval for its first biosimilar and the US moving ever closer to the establishment of an approval pathway, the biosimilars market is set for imminent expansion.

Sandoz receives approval for first-ever Japanese biosimilar

Sandoz has received marketing authorisation for the first ever Japanese biosimilar, recombinant human growth hormone somatropin. The precedent-setting decision further reinforces Sandoz's global leadership position in the rapidly-emerging market for biosimilars, or follow-on versions of existing state-of-the-art biopharmaceuticals.

Biocon and Mylan join forces in biosimilars

Strong growth prospects for the global biosimilars space over the next decade are bringing together the world's third-largest US-based generic drugmaker Mylan and Biocon, India's second-largest biotech company.

US: Biotech drugs need only seven years protection

Biological drugs should be subject to generic competition in the US after seven years, the Obama administration said, calling it a ‘generous compromise’. Brand-name companies have lobbied for 12 to 14 years of exclusivity, while Mr Waxman proposed only five. As reported by Bloomberg News, access to cheaper copies of medicines made by biotechnology companies is ‘a key element’ in reducing healthcare costs, White House officials said in a letter to Representative Henry Waxman. “Lengthy periods of exclusivity will harm patients by diminishing innovation and unnecessarily delaying access to affordable drugs,” it said.

KBI BioPharma starts US PER.C6 cell line generation service

US contract services firm KBI Biopharma announced on 25 June 2009 that it has started using the PER.C6 platform for cell line generation as part of its offering to meet growing demand for biomanufacturing services, whether they are to produce biologicals, biosimilars or vaccines.

US Federal Trade Commission issues report on biosimilars

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report entitled Follow-on Biologic Drug Competition, which examines whether the price of biological drugs could be reduced by competition from so-called ‘follow-on biologics’ (FOBs) or biosimilars.

Views on biosimilars: Genentech

Genentech has put a clear position on biosimilars on its website. The company explains that the terms ‘biosimilar’ or ‘follow-on biologic’ refer to products that are marketed after expiration of patents, which are claimed to have similar properties to existing biological products. Due to the complexity of biologicals, a product can only be made that is similar, but not identical.

BIO wants to delay biodissimilars as long as possible

Biotech drugs are big revenue earners. Their sales growth rate may have slipped back into single figures last year, but according to IMS Health data they still accounted for more than 37% of the growth in the US pharmaceutical market last year, with revenues of around US$85 billion (Euros 60.8 billion), and biotech stands to take an even larger share of the market in future.

Biosimilar substitution: Listen to all lobbyists

In December 2007 a British parliamentary review was conducted on the issue of biosimilars. At a British meeting it was told that “automatic substitution rules do not apply to biologicals.” The recommendation of the panel was that “there should be an urgent ban on the substitution of biopharmaceuticals in the UK until effective safeguards can be relied upon.”

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