Sandoz, a Novartis company, announced plans to launch five major oncology and immunology biologic biosimilars by 2020, according to a recent press release.
The announcement indicates efforts of maximizing patient access to these biosimilar medicines and provides an opportunity for sizeable global health care savings.
"Despite the impressive medical advances of the past century, access to medicines remains the single largest unmet health care need in developed and developing countries alike,” Richard Francis, division head and CEO of Sandoz, said. “Biologics have revolutionized treatment of many disabling and life-threatening diseases, but far too many people who need these medicines are not able to access them. At Sandoz, we are committed to significantly broadening patient access to biologics with a series of major biosimilar launches over the next few years.”
By the end of 2017, Sandoz plans to have an aggressive regulatory submissions strategy of 11 filings that will allow the five biosimilar medicines to launch. Of the 11 planned biosimilar filings, Sandoz has delivered on six within the past year. The acceptance of biosimilar rituximab by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in May was the most recent.
In addition, between 2010 and 2020, Sandoz expects to invest in more than $1 billion in contemporary biomanufacturing facilities in Schaftenau, Austria, and Kundl, Austria. The investment would allow the delivery of biosimilar medicines at an extraordinary scale, according to the release. The facilities are projected to guarantee the global dissemination of these biosimilars to patients and health care professionals.
According to the release, if regulatory requirements and approvals are met, Sandoz’s launches will include the following biosimilar medicines: Enbrel (etanercept, Amgen), Humira (adalimumab, AbbVie), Neulasta (pegfilgrastim, Amgen), Remicade (infliximab, Janssen Biotech) and Rituxan (rituximab, Genentech/Biogen Idec). In 2015, these biosimilars produced approximately $43.6 billion in worldwide sales.