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BioBlast w/e 03 March 23: BioBlast w/e 03 March 23: Enzene adalimumab launch | Biocon CRL | Celltrion & GeneMedicine trastuzumab deal | Alvotech 2022 results | Celltrion & Samsung Bioepis seek to join Mylan aflibercept IPR | Pfizer/Samsung Biologics manufacturing agreement | Janssen ustekinemab proceedings against Amgen | Celltrion founder returns | Biogen CA ranibizumab biosimilar approved

by | Mar 6, 2023

Significant biosimilar activities this week include:

28 February 2023 | IN | Enzene Biosciences begins supply of Humira® (adalimumab) biosimilar in India  

Biospectrum India reported that Enzene Biosciences has launched its adalimumab (biosimilar to AbbVie’s Humira®) in India for the treatment of ankylosis spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis.  Enzene believes that this is the first commercial launch using continuous manufacturing technology, which will reduce COGS.  This is the fourth biosimilar launch for Enzene, following teriparatide (treatment for osteoporosis) approval on 4 February 2021, romiplostim (treatment for chronic Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura) on 10 August 2021, and denosumab (treatment for osteoporosis) on 27 August 2021.

10 Feb 2023 | US | Celltrion & Samsung Bioepis seek to join Mylan aflibercept IPR (Regeneron) 

Celltrion and Samsung Bioepis each filed motions seeking joinder of their respective IPR challenges to Regeneron’s 10,888,601 patent for Eylea® (aflibercept) with Mylan’s, which was instituted in January 2023.

PTAB also instituted Mylan’s IPR against Regeneron’s US10,130,681.   A third Mylan IPR challenge against US10,857,205 remains pending and is likely to be initiated in April 2023.

Separately, Regeneron sued Mylan in West Virginia in August 2022, alleging infringement of 24 patents relating to Eylea (including the ‘601 patent), and a 10 day trial has been set down for June 2023, which is 10 months after Regeneron filed its complaint.

12 February 2023 | US | FDA issue CRL to Biocon Biologics regarding bevacizumab biosimilar

Biocon Biologics announced that the FDA has issued a Complete Response Letter for the bevacizumab application for bevacizumab, filed by Viatris (Mylan).  The letter required resolution of FDA observations following the FDA inspection of Biocon’s facility in August 2022.  Biocon is “confident” of a timely resolution to the FDA concerns.

Biocon completed a multi-billion dollar acquisition of Viatris’ biosimilar assets business in December 2022.

27 February 2023 | Celltrion signs R&D deal with GeneMedicine to develop trastuzumab biosimilar 

Korean Biomed has reported that Celltrion has entered into a joint R&D contract with GeneMedicine, a Korean anticancer virus development company, to develop CT-P6, biosimilar to Genentech’s Herceptin® (trastuzumab), in system administration form.  Celltrion will provide the raw material and GeneMedicine will apply its proprietary nanomaterial-based platform technology (that enables effective and tumor-targeted systemic administration of oncolytic viruses).  The companies plan to develop platform technology with the goal of completing the non-clinical parts of the development by the end of 2023.

01 March 2023 | US | Alvotech announce 2022 financial results  

Alvotech announced its full financial results for 2022, highlighting its annual revenue increased by 114% to USD$85M, primarily driven by the commercialisation of AVT02 (adalimumab), biosimilar to AbbVie’s Humira® in 17 countries.  As of December 31, 2022, the company had cash and cash equivalents of US$66.4 million, and R&D expenses were US$180.6 million.  In addition, Alvotech highlighted recent corporate achievements, including its marketing applications for AVT04  (ustekinumab), a proposed biosimilar to Johnson & Johnson’s Stelara® in the US (FDA accepted BLA for review in January 2023 with a new goal date of 13 April 2023), and EU (expected EMA recommendation in the second half of 2023).

The company held a business update conference with the investment community on 2 March 2022.

Robert Wessman, Chairman and CEO of Alvotech said that “Looking ahead, 2023 is expected to be equally important.  We’re currently preparing for a reinspection of our Reykjavik facility by the FDA, which, if satisfactory, could pave the way for the approval and subsequent launch of our interchangeable, high concentration biosimilar to Humira® in the US market on July 1, 2023.”

02 March 2023 | SK | Pfizer and Samsung Biologics enter into US$183M manufacturing agreement 

Samsung revealed in a South Korean regulatory filing that it has entered into a KRW$241 billion (~USD$183M) contract with Pfizer. The ‘Biologics CMO Contract’ is effective between 28 February 2023 and 31 December 2029 and relates to the manufacture of unnamed biologics by Samsung Biologics on behalf of Pfizer.

02 March 2023 | US | Janssen’s motion for preliminary injunction regarding Amgen’s ustekinemab biosimilar denied by District Court

On Thursday, US District Court Judge Noreika denied a motion filed by Janssen Biotech, Inc (a Johnson & Johnson subsdiary) for a preliminary injunction regarding Amgen’s ustekinemab biosimilar, because the motion did not comply with the court’s page limit requirements.  We previously reported that Janssen commenced proceedings against Amgen in the US District Court (District of Delaware) in November 2022, asserting infringement of two patents, US 6902734 (ustekinemab compound) and US 10961307 (use of ustekinemab for the treatment of ulcerative colitis).   Judge Noreika ordered that the motion may be refiled in compliance with court requirements, so the consequences of the denial may be short-lived.   Janssen’s original Complaint states that Amgen had notified Janssen of its intention to commence marketing its Stelara® biosimilar on 6 May 2023 or as soon as it received FDA approval thereafter.

01 March 2023 | AU | November PBAC Meeting outcomes list four biologics  

The November 2022 PBAC meeting has recommended the following biologics for PBS listing:

  • Sanofi-Aventis’ dupilumab (Dupixent®) autoinjectors in two new forms for the same indications as the currently listed pre-filled syringe, to treat chronic severe atopic dermatitis and uncontrolled severe asthma in patients aged 12 years and older.
  • Merck’s pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) for the treatment of persistent, recurrent, or metastatic (Stage IVB) squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and adenosquamous carcinoma of the cervix in patients whose tumours express PD-L1 combined positive score equal to or greater than 1. This is further to pre-existing listing for unresectable Stage III or Stage IV malignant melanoma, resected Stage IIIB, Stage IIIC or Stage IIID malignant melanoma, relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma, Stage IV (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer, locally advanced (Stage III) or metastatic (Stage IV) urothelial cancer, relapsed or refractory primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, unresectable or metastatic deficient mismatch repair colorectal cancer and recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, pharynx or larynx.
  • Pfizer’s pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine, for the prevention of pneumococcal disease in individuals with an at-risk condition (≥ 18 years), non-Indigenous adults aged ≥ 70 years and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged ≥ 25 years. This was the first submission of the vaccine for the proposed vaccination populations.
  • AbbVie’s risankizumab (Skyrizi®) (which was on the July 2022 PBAC meeting agenda but a decision was deferred to November 2022) to treat adults with severe Crohn’s disease, who have failed to achieve an adequate response, or are contraindicated, to prior systemic therapy, further to pre-existing listing for treatment for severe chronic plaque psoriasis

03 March 2023 | US | Retired Celltrion founder and chairman returns to management 

The Korea Biomedical Review has reported that Seo Jung-jin, founder and the honorary chairman of Celltrion Group, who left the company in March 2021, has been asked to return to management. He was asked to return to assist Celltrion’s reorganisation of future strategies given the instability of the global economy. Appointment of Seo will be finalised at the upcoming shareholders’ meeting on 28 March.

02 March 2023 | CA | Biogen announces ranibizumab biosimilar Byooviz™ approved

Biogen announced that its ranibizumab biosimilar Byooviz™to Genentech’s Lucentis® is available in Canada following approval by Health Canada for treatment of serious eye disorders including neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration. On 2 June 2022, Byooviz™ was launched in the US.

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