USA – US Biosimilar Launches About to Turn a Corner

The US biosimilar industry has lingered in the shadow of the European market since the US pathway for approvals was initiated in 2009.

Ten years later (or less than five years since the first FDA approval of a biosimilar), and just 46% (12 out of 26) of FDA-approved biosimilars have launched. But in the next three months (see chart below), a clutch of new biosimilars will hit the market, including new ones in oncology, hinting at a wave of uptake.

For instance, Pfizer is expected to launch three biosimilars soon: one for Avastin (bevacizumab) later this month, one for Rituxan (rituximab) next month, and one in February for Herceptin (trastuzumab). Two other trastuzumab biosimilars may also launch soon, which would mean more than 60% of biosimilars approved in the US will have launched by early next year.

The rising number of launches, combined with an increasing amount of quick uptake, may put biosimilar foes on their heels.

For instance, Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) biosimilars have found recent success, with Coherus’ Udenyca (pegfilgrastim-cbqv) and Mylan and Biocon’s Fulphila (pegfilgrastim-jmdb) capturing 25% market share in just over a year, according to a report released last week from Bernstein…