As reported in Fierce Biotech yesterday, Spectrum Biopharmaceuticals is going to join the list of companies that is pursuing biosimilars. It announced a new deal with Viropro to develop a follow-on to rituximab. This is Genentech's blockbuster Rituxan and its $5.6 B annual sales.
"We are excited at the opportunity to develop our own proprietary biosimilar formulation of rituximab in anticipation of patent expirations for rituximab for the coming years," said Spectrum CEO Rajesh Shrotriya.
Spectrum is not without competition in shooting at this molecule. Biopharm Insight has earlier reported that Teva Pharmaceutical and Lonza are currently working with contract research organization Parexel International on the manufacture of a biosimilar version of Rituxan named TL011. Reportedly, TL011 is intended as a replacement biologic for RA patients who are prescribed Rituxan. It is unclear whether or when Teva and Lonza plan to apply for approval as a biosimilar across all of Rituxan's currently marketed indications - which also include CLL and NHL patients.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Jan 6th 2011.