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Novartis launches first US ‘biosimilar’ drug at 15 percent discount

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Zarxio, filgrastim-sndz

 

Novartis launches first US ‘biosimilar’ drug at 15 percent discount

LONDON/ZURICH: Novartis kicked off a new era in U.S. medicine on Thursday with the launch of the first “biosimilar” copy of a biotechnology drug approved in the United States, at a discount of 15 percent to the original.

The Swiss drugmaker’s generics unit Sandoz said Zarxio, its form of Amgen’s white blood cell-boosting product Neupogen, would increase access to an important treatment by offering a “high-quality, more affordable version”.

U.S. biotech group Amgen had tried to stop the sale of Zarxio, also known as filgrastim-sndz, but the Washington-based appeals court rejected its attempt to block the launch…..http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/novartis-makes-history-wi/2097550.html

On March 6, 2015, FDA approved the first biosimilar under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA), Sandoz’s Zarxio®. Sandoz submitted Zarxio®as a highly similar, not interchangeable biosimilar, for the same indications as the referenced product. The BPCIA was signed into law in March 2010.

FDA designated “filgrastim-sndz” as the placeholder nonproprietary name rather than the innovator’s name, filgrastim. FDA said that this nonproprietary name “should not be viewed as reflective of the agency’s decision on a comprehensive naming policy for biosimilar and other biological products. While the FDA has not yet issued draft guidance on how current and future biological [biosimilar?] products marketed in the United States should be named, the agency intends to do so in the near future.”

Accompanying the news release was a document “Biosimilars: More Treatment Options Are on the Way”. The document includes various quotes and paraphrased statements by Leah Christl, Ph.D., Associate Director for Therapeutic Biologics, to help describe to consumers what biosimilar medications are. Below are some quotes and information from that document:

Biologics are medicines that generally come from living organisms, which can include humans, animals and microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria.

. . .

“Biologics are different from conventional medications. Conventional medications—drugs—are generally made from chemicals, or chemically synthesized, and therefore their structure can be relatively easily defined,” explains Christl.

Unlike conventional medications, biologics can’t be made by following a chemical “recipe.” “Biologics come from living organisms which are variable in nature. In addition, they are generally more complex and not as easy to define and characterize,” Christl explains. For that reason, manufacturing biologics is a far more complex process than manufacturing drugs.

Just as it does for drugs, FDA rigorously and thoroughly evaluates a biologic’s safety and effectiveness before granting it licensure (approval). Currently, biologics are among the fastest growing segments of the prescription product market.

. . .

Christl explains that a biosimilar is a type of biologic that is highly similar to another, already FDA-approved biologic (known as the reference product).

“It is important to note that a biosimilar is not just like a generic drug,” she adds. “Because of the differences in complexity of the structure of the biologic and the process used to make a biologic, biosimilars are not as easy to produce as generics, which are copies of brand name drugs.” A biosimilar is not an exact duplicate of another biologic; rather, a biosimilar is highly similar to the reference product.

Before approving a biosimilar, FDA experts must also first verify that there are no clinically meaningful differences between the biosimilar and its reference product. In other words, it will work the same way as the reference product for its approved indications.

Also, the biosimilar must have the same strength and dosage form (injectable, for example) and route of administration as the reference product. The biosimilar must be manufactured followingCurrent Good Manufacturing Practices.

“Patients can rest assured that they’ll be able to rely upon the safety and effectiveness of an FDA-approved biosimilar, just as they can rely on the reference product that the biosimilar was compared to,” Christl says. Like other biologics, biosimilars generally must be prescribed by a physician.

. . .

“Biosimilars are likely to create greater competition in the medical marketplace,” saysChristl. This could not only increase treatment options for patients, but also lead to less expensive alternatives to comparable products. With an increasing number of biosimilars on the market, consumers may expect to get equally safe and effective treatment, but at lower costs, she says.

Despite the significant achievement for FDA to approve the first biosimilar under the BPCIA, significant questions other than nonproprietary naming remain. First, Sandoz chose not to take advantage of the pre-approval patent exchange mechanism of the BPCIA, which could have addressed possible patent challenges that may prevent Sandoz from marketing Zarxio®until certain patents are invalidated, are found unenforceable, or have expired. Second, because this and other non-interchangeable versions of biosimilars are not expected to have automatic substitution based on the BPCIA, it remains unclear how ready physicians or patients will be to try a biosimilar version over its referenced product. Third, company representatives from Sandoz and other biosimilar manufacturers have not indicated at what price their biosimilar products will be sold, at times suggesting “at parity,” which may cause reimbursement issues. Fourth, many states have enacted rules that include special physician notification provisions, even when interchangeable biosimilars are dispensed to patients. And there are still issues surrounding pharmacovigilance and risk management when there are innovator and corresponding biosimilar versions marketed. Nevertheless, FDA proclaims that more biosimilars are on the way, as additional companies have indicated that they have submitted or FDA has filed their biosimilar applications. Sandoz’s Zarxio® then is just the tip of the iceberg of what is coming with more issues to be resolved along the way.

http://www.fdalife.com/2015/03/06/first-u-s-biosimilar-zarxio-filigrastim-sndz-approved-issues-remain/

 

ZARXIO (filgrastim-sndz) is a 175 amino acid human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) manufactured by recombinant DNA technology.

ZARXIO is produced by Escherichia coli (E coli) bacteria into which has been inserted the human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor gene. ZARXIO has a molecular weight of 18,800 daltons. The protein has an amino acid sequence that is identical to the natural sequence predicted from humanDNA sequence analysis, except for the addition of an N-terminal methioninenecessary for expression in E coli. Because ZARXIO is produced in E coli, the product is non-glycosylated and thus differs from G-CSF isolated from a human cell.

ZARXIO injection is a sterile, clear, colorless to slightly yellowish , preservative-free liquid containing filgrastimsndz at a specific activity of 1.0 x 108 U/mg (as measured by a cell mitogenesis assay). The product is available in single-use prefilled syringes. The single-use prefilled syringes contain either 300 mcg/0.5 mL or 480 mcg/0.8 mL of filgrastim-sndz. See table below for product composition of each single-use prefilled syringe.

300 MCG/0.5 ML SYRINGE 480 MCG/0.8 ML SYRINGE
Filgrastim-sndz 300 mcg 480 mcg
Glutamic Acid 0.736 mg 1.178 mg
Polysorbate 80 0.02 mg 0.032 mg
Sorbitol 25 mg 40 mg
Sodium hydroxide q.s. qs.
Water for Injection
USP q.s. ad* ad 0.5 mL ad 0.8 mL

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DR ANTHONY CRASTO

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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO Ph.D

DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO Ph.D

DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with GLENMARK PHARMACEUTICALS LTD, Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 29 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 29 year tenure till date Aug 2016, Around 30 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 9 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 25 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email amcrasto@gmail.com, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 13 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 212 countries......https://newdrugapprovals.wordpress.com/ , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc

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