Celltrion steps up global expansion with biosimilar drug - (The Korea Herald via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Celltrion said it gained approval from Australia to begin selling Remsima, its biosimilar version of Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co.'s rheumatoid arthritis drug Remicade, reported The Korea Herald.
  • Industry observers expect Celltrion to quickly gain a strong market share in the country, which "is favorable to low-cost biosimilars given that the government mandates firms to publicly share their drug pricing to promote price competition," according to Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Shin Jae-hoon.
  • Celltrion, in partnership with Hospira, set a milestone in the pharmaceutical industry in February by launching sales of Remsima, also known as Infectra, across Europe, including in the UK, France and Germany.
  • The introduction of the biosimilar, which is up to 45 percent cheaper than the original, has already led to a decline in regional sales for Remicade.
  • Faced with new competition in Europe, Johnson & Johnson saw its second-quarter sales of Remicade outside the US fall to $580 million, compared to $783 million a year earlier.
  • Merck, which handles marketing of Remicade in Europe, saw sales of the drug decline by 25 percent to $455 million in the second quarter, as more European doctors reportedly chose to prescribe the biosimilar version.

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