Korean biosimilars makers pipelines and expansion

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Korean biosimilars makers have started conducting global clinical trials and are expanding into other markets with their biosimilars.

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Korean biosimilars makers are targeting blockbuster biologicals that are expected to lose patent protection between 2022‒2025, such as Prolia (denosumab) and Stelara (ustekinumab), as well as those with patents already expired, such as Herceptin (trastuzumab) [1], see Table 1.

Table 1: Ongoing clinical trials for Korean biosimilars
Company Product Active substance Phase Trial start/end Planned launch dates
Celltrion Healthcare CT-P43 ustekinumab III Jan 2021/ Sep 2022
Celltrion Healthcare CT-P41 denosumab I Oct 2020/ May 2021
Dong-A ST DMB-3115 ustekinumab III 1Q 2021/-

Sep 2023 (US)

Jul 2024 (EU)

Prestige Biopharma HD201 trastuzumab III Jan 2018/ Mar 2022
Samsung Bioepis SB16 denosumab III Nov 2020/ Mar 2023
EU: European Union; US: United States of America.

Dong-A ST announced that it had received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to start a phase III trial of ustekinumab in the first quarter of 2021 and will seek approval for the biosimilar in both the US and in nine countries in Europe.

Celltrion Healthcare (Celltrion) is preparing to launch denosumab and ustekinumab biosimilars once the patents on Prolia and Stelara expire. Celltrion’s phase III trial for CT-P43 (ustekinumab) is expected to be completed in September 2022. While for CT-P41 (denosumab) a phase I trial is ongoing, and the company plans to complete a phase III trial in 2024.

Samsung Bioepis started a global phase III trial comparing the safety and efficacy of SB16 (denosumab) to Prolia in November 2020. The company also has a phase I trial testing the pharmacokinetics, safety and immunogenicity of SB16 in healthy volunteers running in parallel, which is expected to be completed in August 2021 [2].

Singapore-based Prestige Biopharma, which has good manufacturing practice (GMP) facilities in Korea, has conducted global phase III trials of HD201 (trastuzumab) in 13 countries. It has reported positive results that, according to Prestige, ‘confirm the similarities between HD201 and trastuzumab’ [3]. The company announced in May 2019 that the application for its proposed trastuzumab biosimilar Tuznue (HD201) had been accepted by the European Medicines Agency [4].

Prestige also announced in January 2021 that it had signed a contract with Saudi Arabia-based Tabuk Pharmaceuticals for HD201, obtaining a license for some regions, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, of the Middle East and North Africa.

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To further enhance the objectives of GaBI in sharing information and knowledge that ensure policies supportive of safe biosimilars use, we are pleased to announce that we will be launching a new section on GaBI Online and GaBI Journal, the ‘Latin American Forum’ (in Spanish) featuring the latest news and updates on research and developments in generic and biosimilar medicines in Latin America.

Register to receive the GaBI Latin American Forum newsletter. Inform colleagues and friends of this new initiative.



Para fomentar los objetivos de GaBI sobre la difusión de información y conocimiento sobre las políticas de apoyo que garantizan el uso seguro de medicamentos biosimilares, nos complace anunciar el lanzamiento de una nueva sección en GaBI Online y GaBI Journal, el ‘Latin American Forum’ (en español), que presentará las últimas noticias y actualizaciones en investigación y desarrollo sobre medicamentos genéricos y biosimilares en Latinoamérica.

Regístrese para recibir el boletín informativo GaBI Latin American Forum. Informe a colegas y amigos sobre esta nueva iniciativa. 

1. Derbyshire M. Patent expiry dates for biologicals: 2018 update. Generics and Biosimilars Initiative Journal (GaBI Journal). 2019;8(1):24-31. doi:10.5639/gabij.2019.0801.003
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Biosimilars of denosumab [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2021 Feb 26]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/General/Biosimilars-of-denosumab 
3. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Positive phase III results for trastuzumab biosimilar HD201 [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2021 Feb 26]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/Research/Positive-phase-III-results-for-trastuzumab-biosimilar-HD201 
4. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Trastuzumab biosimilar from Prestige accepted for review by EMA [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2021 Feb 26]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/News/Trastuzumab-biosimilar-from-Prestige-accepted-for-review-by-EMA

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Source: ClinicalTrials.gov, Korea Biomedical Review

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