Pfizer cuts some biosimilars after Hospira deal

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After completing its US$17 billion acquisition of Hospira, Pfizer is cutting some of its biosimilar collaborations with South Korean drugmaker Celltrion.

According to Pfizer’s third quarter 2015 results, the company is returning the rights to rituximab and trastuzumab biosimilars, which are currently in joint development with Hospira, back to Celltrion. The products are candidate biosimilars for Roche’s rheumatoid arthritis treatment Rituxan (rituximab) and breast cancer drug Herceptin (trastuzumab).

The news comes as a result of redundancies due to the addition of the Hospira business, which has a strong presence in both sterile injectables and biosimilars. Pfizer is already carrying out phase III studies with its own biosimilar rituximab (PF-05280586) and trastuzumab (PF-05280014) candidates, which are expected to be completed March 2018 [1] and November 2016 [2], respectively.

Pfizer also reported that in July 2015, it began dosing patients in a multinational phase III clinical trial of PF-06410293, a potential biosimilar to Humira (adalimumab). The phase III clinical trial will evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of PF-06410293 plus methotrexate and adalimumab sourced from the EU plus methotrexate in subjects with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to methotrexate monotherapy.

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1.   GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Biosimilars of rituximab []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Nov 13]. Available from:
2.   GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Pfizer to start phase III biosimilar trastuzumab trial []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Nov 13]. Available from:

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Source: Pfizer

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