As the first of this two-part article revealed, the biosimilar market has undergone several revolutions since the release of the Thai FDA’s biosimilar guidelines in 2013. During our tour of Siam’s facilities, the company’s managing director, Songpon Deechongkit, Ph.D., shared the company’s history, overall biosimilar strategy, and some of the pros and cons of being the first and only biosimilar company in Thailand.
To meet therapy production demands, the industry needs to have the right capacity, in the right locations. Increasingly, single-use technologies are being seen as flexible and cost-effective solutions.
Samsung Bioepis celebrated its fifth anniversary in February 2017. I met with Paul Song, VP at Samsung Bioepis, to learn more about the company's motto, "Process innovation," which is credited for the company's swift rise to leadership in the European market.
The 2017 Amgen "Trends in Biosimilars" report called attention to a few trends that align with what I’ve been observing within the industry that manufacturers, payers, and prescribers should expect for the year (and years) ahead.
Over the past year, the biosimilar industry has developed two mantras: “education, education, education,” and “strategy, strategy, strategy.” But after my conversation with HoUng Kim, the head of the strategy and operations division for Celltrion Healthcare, I’d like to add another mantra to this list: “data, data, data.”
Relocating an organization as large as the EMA, which employs upwards of 1,000 people in London, will be no easy feat. As such, IDA Ireland, an agency that supports companies in Ireland and promotes foreign direct investments in the country, is working to compile information on why Ireland would be a good location for the EMA.
In most cases, the biosimilar guidelines put forth by all the major regulatory agencies are quite similar. But there are some differences that can challenge companies looking to have their biosimilars approved in these different countries.
Commercialization is one of the hottest topics of discussion in the biosimilar industry, perhaps because, so far, the path to commercial success is far from black and white.
In August 2016, India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and the Department of Biotechnology revised the September 2012 Guideline for Similar Biologics. The revision was done to keep pace with ever changing global standards and to streamline the regulatory process for the authorization of biosimilars in India. What do biosimilar makers need to know?
Suzette Kox, the senior director of the Biosimilars Medicines Group and chair of the biosimilars committee of the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association, offers the European perspective on several topics that are currently being debated in the U.S.
Throughout an expansive presentation about the biosimilar market’s progression, Sanford Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal homed in on four topics I think are important to reiterate.
The demand for generic drugs is skyrocketing. According to the US FDA, nearly 8 in 10 prescriptions filled in the United States are for generic drugs. Generic drugs can be considerably less expensive while typically providing the same level of effectiveness as brand name therapeutics. The demand is intensified by initiatives such as the Affordable Care Act that intend to lower the cost of national healthcare by compelling a move toward less expensive generics and biosimilars.
PhRMA is facing a controversial, potentially industry-altering decision. The generics king Teva has requested to become a member of the trade organization that traditionally represents “innovators”. Could this move redefine the industry's perception of "innovation"?
Throughout this whirlwind two-day event, the panelists addressed the challenges of patient education and uptake, the pharmacovigilance of biosimilars, and how to navigate varying regulatory requirements in the global market. But there were four key messages relayed throughout this conference that are worth noting.
The Latin American markets, and especially Brazil, hold great promise for biosimilar development, PlantForm CEO Don Stewart says. In recent years, many partnerships have been launched in Brazil between local and international companies to bolster the country’s biosimilar development. However, there are a number of things companies looking to forge joint ventures in Brazil need to keep in mind for success.
Biosimilars are considered to be low-cost substitutions for pricy, large-molecule biologics. However, biosimilars must meet the same quality, safety, and efficacy as their reference biologic. Manufacturing biosimilars requires a more complicated procedure than that of manufacturing small molecule generics. Companies manufacturing biosimilars are focused on creating a chemical structure that is as close as possible to that of the reference product. Failure rates and operational costs pose a challenge for those companies involved in manufacturing biosimilars compared to those manufacturing small molecule generics.
Small molecule generics are created using the same active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and, therefore, are chemically identical to that of the originator medicine. The manufacturing process for small molecules comprises only one-fifth of the total in-process tests required to meet Good Manufacturing Practice compared to that of biologic medicines (50 vs. 250 in-process tests). In fact, the manufacturing process for a large molecule is so complex, it cannot be duplicated by two different manufacturers, as the cells used in biologic medicines are unique to the company manufacturing each biologic.
Manufacturing a biologic consists of genetically modifying a cell, which becomes the basis for a cell line used for the production of the necessary protein for the biologic medicine. The protein is then separated from the cells and purified. Biosimilars are created from small alterations to the manufacturing process which creates a molecule that is not identical but closely resembles the reference product. While the differences in the biosimilar molecule might be slight, these changes in the manufacturing process of a biosimilar can affect the efficacy and safety of a biosimilar compared to the reference biologic. Over the past decade, the manufacturing process for proteins has become more standardized and the required technology has become increasingly accessible, leading to reductions in biosimilars production costs. As a result, a greater number of companies have begun manufacturing biosimilars, while reference brand manufacturers are setting their sights on bolstering pipelines and manufacturing biobetters to maintain market share for their soon-to-be-off-patent reference products.