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US FDA prepares for biosimilars in 2011 budget plan, despite stalled healthcare reform bill

Increasing inspections and creating a regulatory pathway for the approval of biosimilars are among the most important areas of the US FDA's fiscal 2011 budget request, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Ms Kathleen Sebelius says. In testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on 4 February 2010, Ms Sebelius focused on funds included in the budget request for the FDA's efforts to improve medical product safety, including increased inspections and investment in tools to enhance the safety of increasingly complex drugs and biologics.

FDA accepts Teva’s biosimilar filgrastim BLA, Amgen not

The US FDA has accepted Teva‘s application to sell a biosimilar version of Amgen's Neupogen (filgrastim), although the biotech giant is working to block the move in court.

XM02, a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), is designed to treat severe neutropenia, a haematological disorder characterised by an abnormally low number of white blood cells. If approved, the drug would be marketed under the name Neutroval by US pharma company Hospira, which in 2009 acquired worldwide rights to the new version in a deal that also saw it gain manufacturing capacity for filgrastim and pegfilgrastim - a long-acting version of the drug marketed by Amgen as Neulasta. The worldwide market for Neulasta and Neupogen currently stands at more than US$2 billion.

Celtic Pharma invests in Cantab, PolyTherics for ‘biosuperiors’

As reported by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News on 25 and 26 January 2010, Celtic Pharma Holdings is making an initial £5 million (about $8.1 million) investment in Cantab Biopharmaceuticals, Cambridge, UK. Cantab is wholly owned by the Celtic Pharma Holdings II LP (CP2) fund. The new CP2 funding will be spread over three years and will support the development of the firm’s first clinical-stage so-called ‘biosuperior’ biologic in haematology.

Korean biopharma gets support for biosimilars/biobetters

As reported by Narayan Kulkami, Singapore, in BioSpectrum Asia Edition on 18 January 2010, the [South] Korean biopharmaceutical industry continues to get the attention of the global players, mainly because the Korean government in 2009 identified ‘biopharmaceutical and medical equipment’ as one of the future engines for economic growth. The life sciences industry in Korea consists of close to 2000 companies including 580 pharmaceutical companies and 600 biotech companies. (see also Korean biopharma: special programme for biosimilars)

Korean biopharma: special programme for biosimilars

As reported by Narayan Kulkami, Singapore, in BioSpectrum Asia Edition on 18 January 2010, the Korean biopharmaceutical sector gets support for biosimilars and/or biobetters.(see also Korean biopharma gets support for biosimilars/biobetters)

Medarex: With CDA1, CDB1 MAbs better metronidazole or vancomycin treatment against C difficile toxins

New therapies are needed to manage the increasing incidence, severity, and high rate of recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection in which toxins A and B cause pseudomembranous colitis. This is associated with bleeding and a severe form of diarrhoea, which together can lead to perforation of the lower bowel and even death.

Campbell Alliance: how biotech should prepare for biosimilars

In the recently published article ‘Bracing for Biosimilars’ by Kuyler Doyle, Tony Lanzone and Fahti Khosrow-Shahi of management consultancy firm Campbell Alliance, some insight is given into what commercial and reimbursement decision makers for biotechnology companies should be doing to prepare for the arrival of biosimilars.

Minimal 12 years of biologicals data exclusivity required

As reported by Gene Quinn on IPWatchdog.com, for many months we have been hearing about the US government attempts to “reform” health care in the United States.

Teva seeks closer ties with Lonza on biosimilars

Biogenerics is a field that is becoming more and more important to Teva and the company seeks to deepen its existing ties in this area with Swiss company Lonza. Sources inform Globes that Teva President and CEO, Shlomo Yanay, CFO Eyal Desheh, and all the company’s board, flew to Switzerland for two days of meetings intended to extend the collaboration between the two companies.

Pfizer’s biosimilars strategy

“I think it is a good strategy for a large company like Pfizer that wants to be a player in generics”, Ronny Gal, a Sanford C Bernstein Analyst in New York said. “I would be surprised if they weren’t considering biogenerics”.

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