Alvogen launches first generic version of Celgene's Revlimid in certain European markets

Alvogen said Wednesday that it launched its generic version of Celgene's Revlimid (lenalidomide) in a number of European countries, including Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria and the Baltic states. According to Alvogen, the product is the first generic equivalent of Revlimid to be introduced "in a range of its operating CEE [central and eastern European] markets," adding that the generic version "will be launched globally in 2019."

Revlimid is indicated for use against various cancers, including multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes and mantle cell lymphoma. Hacho Hatchikian, executive vice president at Alvogen in the CEE regions, said "we [have] successfully become the first generic pharmaceutical company to launch the generic of Revlimid in our major markets." He added that "having [generic Revlimid] in our portfolio also enhances our drive to be one of the key oncology players in the CEE region."

Alvogen gained European approval to market a generic version of Revlimid last April. The generic therapy has also been submitted for authorisation in the US.

The latest news comes after Celgene entered into an agreement last month to be acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for approximately $74 billion. Earlier this week, the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board refused to hear a patent challenge lodged by Dr. Reddy's Laboratories on Revlimid (for related analysis, see ViewPoints: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene deal passes first big hurdle).

Sales of Revlimid for the quarter ended December 31 jumped 16 percent to $2.5 billion.

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