News & Commentary

Biosimilars Both Threat, Opportunity For the Manufacturers of Originators


There’s the pressure on price and market share when competing biosimilars come on the market and threaten your major moneymaker. On the other side, there’s the opportunity for developing and launching biosimilars in a bid to grab market share (and revenue) from the other guy’s “originator” biologic.

Both sides were in evidence at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, especially when it comes to Amgen.

Coherus BioSciences executives told conference attendees that they were ready to and take on Amgen’s Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) with their biosimilar, Udenyca (pegfilgrastim-cbqv). Neulasta, a colony-stimulating factor that boosts white blood cell levels, has been among Amgen’s best-selling drugs, and it already has a Mylan’ biosimilar, Fulphila (pegfilgrastim-jmdb), giving it some competition.

But Amgen CEO Robert Bradway talked up the company’s biosimilar pipeline at the conference, according to Biopharma Dive, and told investors that the company would be sharing news about biosimilars as a boon, not a threat, to its revenue come next year’s JP Morgan conference. The Amgen website has five biosimilars listed as being in “our pipeline.”

Amgen biosimilars in the pipeline Reference product Company that makes the reference product
ABP 798 Rituxan (rituximab) Genentech
ABP 710 Remicade (infliximab) Janssen
ABP 494 Erbitux (cetuximab) ImClone*
ABP 959 Soliris (eculizumab) Alexion
ABP 980 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Genentech
*ImClone is a subsidary of Eli Lilly
Source: Amgen website, package inserts

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