Pfizer sets release date for rival to J&J’s blockbuster drug

pharmafile | October 18, 2016 | News story | Manufacturing and Production J&J, JJ, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Remicade, inflectra 

Pfizer have announced that they will begin shipping their rival to Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade by the end of November. The drug will be only the second biosimilar available on the market and Pfizer have hopes to take a chunk out of Remicade’s sales of around $5 billion a year. Pfizer’s Inflectra will enter the market at a discount of 15% against Remicade.

The drug can be used to treat a variety of illnesses, and is part of the reason for Remicade’s runaway financial success. It will be used to treat adult and paediatric patients with moderate to severely active Crohn’s disease who have not responded to traditional treatment. It can also be used to treat adults with moderate to severely active ulcerative colitis and moderate to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (in combination with methotrexate); active ankylosing spondylitis; active psoriatic arthritis; and chronic severe plaque psoriasis.

Pfizer holds the rights to the commercialisation of Celltrion’s Inflectra in the US. However, there could still be bumps on the road ahead for Pfizer, as Johnson & Johnson is unlikely to allow the drug to take a share of its market without a fight. Already they have released a statement considering the launch of Inflectra “at risk launch”, which would mean that if infringements upon Remicade’s patents were found Pfizer would be liable to pay triple damages.

“Biologics have revolutionized the treatment of many life-threatening and chronic diseases. By introducing INFLECTRA to the U.S. marketplace, Pfizer is helping customers access an additional high quality treatment option that promises greater savings for the healthcare system,” said Diem Nguyen, regional president North America, Pfizer Essential Health Business. “We are proud of our global leadership in biosimilars, and will continue our efforts to advance a sustainable, competitive marketplace for these therapies to deliver a high quality, consistent supply of product and long-term savings and value for patients and physicians.”

Ben Hargreaves

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