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BioBlast w/e 15 Oct 23

by , | Oct 16, 2023

Samsung Bioepis presented new data on its SB16 (denosumab, biosimilar to Amgen’s Prolia®) at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 2023 Annual Meeting being held from October 13 to 16 in Vancouver, BC, Canada.  The SB16 ph I and III studies demonstrate respectively pharmacokinetic bioequivalence and biosimilarity of SB17 to reference denosumab.

Merck announced that it received a positive recommendation from EMA’s CHMP for the approval of Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) in combination with fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy, for first-line treatment of locally advanced unresectable or metastatic human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma in adults whose tumors express PD-L1.

This will be the second indication for Keytruda® for the first-line treatment of such cancers in EU, following approval of Keytruda® in combination with trastuzumab, fluoropyrimidine- and platinum-containing chemotherapy in August 2023.

Dr Reddy’s informed the Indian National Stock exchange on 12 October 2023 that the FDA issued a Form 483 with nine observations for Dr Reddy’s biologics manufacturing facility in Hyderabad.  The observations were issued after a product-specific pre-approval inspection of the facility by the FDA between 4 and 12 October 2023.

Prince Edward Island announced implementation of a biosimilar switching policy consistent with ten other provinces in Canada.  From 12 October 2023, patients covered under PEI Pharmacare program will begin switching biosimilars. Pharmacare beneficiaries will have until 30 June 2024 to work with healthcare providers to switch to a biosimilar.  Patients currently using Copaxone®, Enbrel®, Humalog®, Humira®, Lantus®, NovoRapid®, Remicade® or Rituxan® will be transitioned to a biosimilar version by 30 June 2024 to maintain their coverage.

We reported on previous Canadian announcements of Biosimilar switching initiatives, including Newfoundland and LabradorYukonOntarioBritish ColumbiaAlbertaNew BrunswickQuebec, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.

Alvotech announced that FDA has issued a Complete Response Letter (CRL) regarding its aBLA for AVT04, biosimilar to Janssen’s Stelara® (ustekinumab).  The letter relates to certain deficiencies that were conveyed following the FDA’s inspection of Alvotech’s Reykjavik facility in March 2023.  No other deficiencies were noted by the FDA.  Alvotech intends to resubmit the BLA for AVT04 to the FDA shortly.  This will likely trigger a new BsUFA date for Alvotech’s ustekinumab.

In June 2023 Alvotech and Teva (the exclusive commercialization partner for AVT04 in the US), reached a settlement and license agreement with Johnson & Johnson that grants an entry date for AVT04 in the US no later than 21 February 2025.

On 25 September 2023 Alvotech received approval in Japan for AVT04.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc announced that it has added two denosumab products (biosimilars to Amgen’s Prolia® and Xgeva®) to its biosimilar pipeline.  The denosumab products are being developed by mAbxience.  MAbxience is responsibility for development and manufacture and Amneal is responsible for regulatory approval and has exclusive US commercialisation rights.

On 3 October 2022 Amneal Pharmaceuticals announced the US launch of another biosimilar developed by mAbxience: Alymsys® (biosimilar bevacizumab).

Samsung Bioepis presented new data on its SB17 (ustekinumab, biosimilar to Janssen’s Stelara®) and Imraldi® (adalimumab, biosimilar to AbbVie’s Humira®) at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress.  The SB17 phIII study demonstrates that SB17 has equivalent efficacy and comparable safety and PK to Stelara® up to week 28 in patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.  The Imraldi® four-year follow up study indicates that Imraldi can be started or transitioned from AbbVie’s Humira® (adalimumab) in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis.

On 11 September 2023, Sandoz and Samsung Bioepis entered an exclusive commercialisation agreement for SB17 in the US, Canada, EEA, Switzerland and the UK.

Samsung Bioepis released its third US Biosimilar Market Report.  The quarterly report details recent prices of all biosimilars based on Q4 2023 average sales price (ASPs) published by the Center of Medicare, Medicaid Services (CMS), and market share and price trends of all biosimilars.

The report explores three key influences on biosimilar utilisation:

  1. Independent Medical Guidelines (noting that the influence of respected medical societies on biosimilar use ‘cannot be overstated’)
  2. Duration of Treatment: Acute vs. Chronic Conditions (HCPs are often reluctant to initiate changes in chronic patients who respond well to the medicine)
  3. Access and Rebate Walls (the impact of ‘grandfathering’ allows many patients to continue existing treatment even where biosimilars are available)

On 18 April 2023, Samsung Bioepis released its first US Biosimilar Market Report, predicting that   biosimilars will save US$181B in five years in the US.  Its second report was published on 11 July 2023.

Samsung Bioepis announced its Phase III switching study results for SB15, biosimilar to Regeneron’s Eylea® (aflibercept), at EURETINA 2023.  The results comparable clinical efficacy when switching to SB15 from Eylea® for patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), confirming interchangeability and biosimilarity.

On 8 June 2023, JAMA Ophthalmology published the Ph III trial results for SB15, and demonstrating equivalent efficacy and comparable safety, pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity to Eylea® in participants with nAMD.  In April 2023, Samsung Bioepis announced 1-year outcomes of its Ph III study at the 2023 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting.

Biocon Biologics announced that the FDA issued a Complete Response Letter (CRL) for its BLA for its insulin aspart (biosimilar to Novo Nordisk’s NovoLog®).  The letter did not identify any outstanding scientific issues with the product, but references the requirement for a satisfactory resolution of deficiencies from the pre-approval inspection of the Biocon Malaysia facility.

On 20 September 2023, Biocon’s Yesafili®,biosimilar to Regeneron’s Eylea® (aflibercept), received marketing approval from the European Commission.

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced that it has expanded its St Louis biologics manufacturing facility, adding up to four Thermo Scientific™ bioreactors, each of which can process up to 5,000 liters.

Naomi Pearce

Naomi Pearce

CEO, Executive Lawyer (AU, NZ), Patent & Trade Mark Attorney (AU, NZ)

Naomi is the founder of Pearce IP, and is one of Australia’s leading IP practitioners.   Naomi is a market leading, strategic, commercially astute, patent lawyer, patent attorney and trade mark attorney, with over 25 years’ experience, and a background in molecular biology/biochemistry.  Ranked in virtually every notable legal directory, highly regarded by peers and clients, with a background in molecular biology, Naomi is renown for her successful and elegant IP/legal strategies.

Among other awards, Naomi is ranked in Chambers, IAM Patent 1000, IAM Strategy 300, is a MIP “Patent Star”, and is recognised as a WIPR Leader for patents and trade marks. Naomi is the 2023 Lawyers Weekly “IP Partner of the Year”, the 2022 Lexology client choice award recipient for Life Sciences, the 2022 Asia Pacific Women in Business Law “Patent Lawyer of the Year” and the 2021 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law SME “Partner of the Year”.  Naomi is the founder of Pearce IP, which commenced in 2017 and won 2021 “IP Team of the Year” at the Australian Law Awards.

Kate Legge

Kate Legge

Special Counsel, Lawyer

Kate is an experienced life sciences patent lawyer, providing IP leadership for product development and commercialisation across global markets in pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, medical technology and devices, digital health and diagnostics – from initial scoping through to post-launch. She has developed and implemented global IP strategies over more than 15 years at multi-national pharmaceutical companies. She is an Australian qualified and registered legal practitioner, and has a Master’s degree in IP Law and a BSc in biochemistry.

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