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

Biosimilars/News | Posted 07/10/2011

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.

Boehringer Ingelheim joins other Big Pharma going into biosimilars

Biosimilars/News | Posted 30/09/2011

Big Pharma is once again taking a major interest in biosimilars. The latest big pharmaceutical player to show an interest is biopharmaceutical specialist Boehringer Ingelheim. The German-based company announced on 26 September 2011 that it would create a dedicated division for the development and commercialisation of biosimilars.

Amphastar’s biosimilar enoxaparin approved by FDA – Momenta launches lawsuit

Biosimilars/News | Posted 30/09/2011

On 19 September 2011, and after years of conflict with FDA, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (Amphastar) finally received approval to market a biosimilar version of sanofi-aventis’s blockbuster blood-thinner Lovenox (enoxaparin). The announcement, however, was closely followed by news that Momenta Pharmaceuticals (Momenta) had launched a lawsuit against Amphastar.

Generics and biosimilars affected by Obama’s deficit plans

Biosimilars/News | Posted 23/09/2011

US President Barack Obama’s plan for economic growth and deficit reduction, announced on 19 September 2011, recommends a series of healthcare reforms. The proposals include higher drug rebates for low-income patients, banning pay-to-delay deals between generics and originator companies and reducing biologicals exclusivity from 12 to seven years. The proposals aim to save US$320 billion in healthcare spending over 10 years.

Sanofi announces new long-term objectives

Biosimilars/News | Posted 23/09/2011

At a ‘strategy and outlook’ seminar for investors held on 6 September 2011, sanofi-aventis (sanofi) CEO Mr Christopher A Viehbacher commented on the group’s outlook. The group has undergone radical changes since 2008, when it was faced with losing several blockbuster drugs over a relatively short time period, the so-called ‘patent cliff’. The main action sanofi took was to buy biotech company Genzyme and thus gain access to the biosimilars, rare diseases and multiple sclerosis markets. However, other actions not so interesting to the media have also played a great part in the company’s repositioning.

Hospira looks to biosimilars and increased use of generics for growth

Biosimilars/News | Posted 16/09/2011

Injectable generics leader, Hospira, announced on 7 September 2011 at its investor day, that it will look to biosimilars and international expansion for future growth.

Positive results for phase I trial of biosimilar erythropoietin

Biosimilars/News | Posted 09/09/2011

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

Biosimilars/News | Posted 02/09/2011

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

Biosimilars/News | Posted 26/08/2011

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

Biosimilars/News | Posted 26/08/2011

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].