Late last year, French legislators quietly slipped a measure into the country's 2014 budget legislation that would allow pharmacists to substitute inexpensive biosimilar drugs for pricier biotech brands. While not a full-out assault on branded biologics, it would make France the first European country to substitute the cheaper drugs, and the pharma industry is doing everything it can to derail that move before France's Administrative Supreme Court decrees it into effect.
Hospira is one step closer to selling a Herceptin biosimilar in Britain. The U.S.-based drugmaker persuaded a U.K. court to overturn two Roche patents on the drug. And that means, as of now, Herceptin (trastuzumab) could be open to biosim competition when its main patent expires July 28.
Japanese drugmaker Kyowa Hakko Kirin, which develops its own drugs and is in a partnership with Fuji to make biosimilars, has completed construction on a new active pharmaceutical plant for biologics.
Novartis, amid a company-wide strategic review, has said some of its underperforming units may be on the way out. But as it draws up its blueprints for the future, it's also working to bolster its star businesses, and Wednesday it announced some changes at the top of two of its key divisions.
With some of its larger rivals already at work on biotech knockoffs, Indian drugmaker Lupin is on the hunt for partners to help shepherd it into the biosimilar fray, taking aim at top-selling treatments soon to come off patent.
As the biosimilar market takes shape, companies are gunning to produce copies of some of the world's top-selling drugs. And according to a new Moody's report, with their star products wearing targets on their backs, AbbVie, Amgen and Roche are most exposed to the new competition.
Sanofi's got the top-selling diabetes drug in the world right now, and it intends to keep it that way. The French drugmaker is suing Eli Lilly over infringement claims on four of the patents for its Lantus insulin product, which is set to lose protection next February.
What's in a name? In the pharmaceutical world, the answer to this question is no simple matter. Drugmakers, biotechs and their generic rivals are squabbling over the names that will be assigned to biosimilars, in a battle for a marketing edge.
The buzz about the potential sale of a big stake in Celltrion, Korea's biosimilars developer, picked up after the company filed a statement with regulators indicating that discussions with a potential buyer or buyers are underway.
Merck KGaA last year closed manufacturing facilities as part of a major restructuring to cut costs. This year it is planning to build them to serve areas that it has decided have the greatest potential as well as expected growth in emerging markets.