Novartis aims to launch five major global biosimilars by 2020
Novartis (VTX: NOVN) has announced plans to triple its biosimilar portfolio by 2020, with the launch of five major biosimilar versions of blockbuster drugs.
Through its Sandoz, division, the Swiss pharma company will invest more than $1 billion in state-of-the-art biomanufacturing facilities and leverage its expertise to deliver biosimilars on a large scale.
Pending regulatory submissions, Sandoz plans to launch biosimilar versions of Enbrel (etanercept), Humira (adalimumab), Neulasta (pegfilgrastim), Remicade (infliximab) and Rituxan (rituximab). These drugs, which treat conditions ranging from rheumatoid arthritis to chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, generated sales of $44 billion in 2015 combined.
At the recent EULAR congress, the company presented data showing how its inflammatory disease biosimilars demonstrated comparable safety and efficacy with the originators.
To facilitate these launches, Sandoz is pursuing what it calls an “aggressive regulatory submissions” strategy.
Richard Francis, division head and CEO at Sandoz, says: “Despite the impressive medical advances of the past century, access to medicines remains the single largest unmet healthcare need in developed and developing countries alike. Biologics have revolutionised treatment of many disabling and life threatening diseases but far too many people who need these medicines are not able to access them.
“At Sandoz, we are committed to significantly broadening patient access to biologics with a series of major biosimilar launches over the next few years.”
According to a recent IMS Health report, biosimilars have the potential to save EU and US healthcare systems up to $100 billion by 2020. With this latest announcement, Novartis believes it is well placed to take the lead on delivering these savings and claiming the market share of these blockbusters.
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