Indian generics company Cipla breaks into Biosimilar market
Biosimilars remain a hot topic with news yesterday that Indian generic drug giant Cipla, who only last week was praised by former president Bill Clinton, has launched the first Rheumatoid Arthritis biosimilar of Pfizer and Amgen?s blockbuster Enbrel.
With its successes in producing generic chemical therapeutics this move has demonstrated Cipla?s intention of focusing on lower cost biologics in order to diversify its portfolio. Their biosimilar, Etacept, will be sold in India at a 30% discount, compared to Enbrel, and will be manufactured by China?s Shanghai CP Guojian Pharmaceuticals. The Mumbai-based group’s medical director Jaideep Gogtay said
“the higher cost of biologics has been a major hindrance, limiting its affordability and accessibility to millions of patients. (This) will enable access of this drug to a greater number of patients in India”.
Enbrel earned an estimated $8.37bn USD worldwide last year and was 2012?s second best selling drug in the world. As Cipla fights to secure a portion of this market they also continue to develop Avastin and Herceptin (Roche) biosimilars, that combined were worth $17bn in 2009.
– Jonathan Mackinnon