Global Markets

Vaccines, plasma and stem cells: How industry hopes to take on COVID-19

The biopharma space has stepped up its efforts to both prevent and treat the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that is threatening to bring the world to its knees. A month is a very long time when it comes to infectious diseases. The first cases and deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) led to a response to contain the virus, but the difficulties of containment and the nature of international travel means cases and deaths have become global. The latest statistics place the…

Coherus eyes ophthalmology biosimilars prize

In-licensing a Lucentis biosimilar goes “hand-in-hand” with its internally developed Eylea biosimilar, says Coherus BioSciences. Californian biosimilar developer Coherus acquired the US commercial rights in November to commercialize a version of Lucentis (ranibizumab) from Bioeq, a joint venture between Polpharma Group and Strüngmann Group. The ophthalmic monoclonal antibody pulled in US sales of CHF 1.83 billion ($1.9 billion) for Roche/Genentech in 2019. Concurrently, Coherus has a biosimilar candidate looking to take on Regeneron’s Eylea (aflibercept) in the form of CHS-2020.…

Sandoz optimistic on biosimilars as it reprioritizes US portfolio

Sandoz US president Carol Lynch talks about its changing US portfolio, which will emphasize biosimilars, as the Novartis unit is poised to divest most of its US generics portfolio to Aurobindo. Sandoz International GMBH is shrinking the size of its US footprint as it prioritizes complex generics and biosimilars in the region and divests much of its small molecule generics portfolio to India’s Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. US President Carol Lynch talked about the changing dynamics for the US business and the company’s…

Teva highlights fasinumab and Celltrion biosims deal as drivers

Teva says the monoclonal antibody (mAb) candidate fasinumab has “big potential” and expects to see Phase III data this year. The Israel headquartered generics firm spoke about fasinumab – the osteoarthritis pain drug – during its fourth quarter earnings call last week. CEO Kare Schultz told analysts “In novel biologics, we have a lot of different things going on. “The most exciting short-term is fasinumab that we are developing together with Regeneron and where we hope to see data this year…

Dupixent growth increases Regeneron’s manufacturing costs (again)

Regeneron says higher Dupixent (dupilumab) sales drove an increase in manufacturing and collaboration costs in Q4. In the US, Dupixent brought in revenue of $605 million (€554 million) in the final three months of 2019, up 136% on the comparable period a year earlier. Similarly, global net sales of the drug in the fourth quarter increased to $752 million, up from $319 million in 2018. Regeneron senior vice president Marion McCourt told analysts: “We continue to see strong prescribing trends…

FDA approves Seqirus’ adjuvant cell-based flu vaccine Audenz

Seqirus says it is confident of supply of its newly approved cell-base influenza A (H5N1) vaccine Audenz in the case of a pandemic. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the thumbs up to Seqirus for its vaccine Audenz (Influenza A (H5N1) Monovalent Vaccine, Adjuvanted), making it the first adjuvanted, cell-based influenza vaccine approved to protect against influenza A (H5N1) in the event of a pandemic. Seqirus, a subsidiary of CSL Limited, is not planning to market the product…

Merck’s biosimilar business to power NewCo spinoff

Merck & Co. reported biosimilar sales of $250 million in 2019 and says the revenues will be used to grow its spinout company NewCo, also comprising of its women’s health and legacy brands. Merck & Co. (known as MSD outside North America) announced the creation of NewCo in line with its Q4 and full year 2019 results. The new entity will group the company’s women’s health assets and legacy brands together, along with its biosimilars business. Left alone, Kevin Ali…

Celltrion pulls plant team out of Wuhan as it tracks coronavirus

Celltrion says it is committed to a biosimilars plant in Wuhan, China but has pulled project team out while it tracks the 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak. Celltrion is keeping a close eye on the spread of 2019-nCoV according to a spokesman. He told us “while we remain strongly committed to the project, it is difficult to say how the ongoing outbreak will affect our plans at this moment. “We are closely monitoring the situation and will continue to communicate with the…

Thermo says Chinese Gov policy will drive growth

Thermo Fisher Scientific says Chinese Government support for biopharma will help grow its business in the country. The life science services, tools and technology firm saw full-year revenue increase 5% to $25.54 billion in 2019 according to documents filed with the US SEC last week. The contribution from Thermo’s operations in China increased 13% year-on-year. And China was a major topic of discussion for CEO Marc Casper during Thermo’s fourth quarter call. “Government priorities in China are aligned with the…

Potential Oklahoma anti-vax bill danger to health and industry

Oklahoma has introduced a bill intended to ban the state from prescribing, administering, and making medicinal products and vaccines containing human DNA. Introduced on January 15, Senate Bill 1514 is proposing prohibiting vaccine use and supply in the state of Oklahoma. “No medicine, medical product, vaccine or other injection that contains human DNA shall be prescribed, administered, dispensed, used or offered in this state,” the bill states, placing a date of November 1, 2020 as the when it hopes to…