Sandoz Proposed Biosimilar Rituximab Accepted for Review by the FDA

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Sandoz, a Novartis Division, recently announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted its Biologics License Application (BLA) under the 351 (k) pathway for a proposed biosimilar to the reference medicine, Rituxan® (rituximab).

Rituxan® is used to treat blood cancers including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, as well as immunological diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

“The cost of treating cancer in the US is a major concern for many patients and their families as well as for the healthcare system” said Mark Levick, MD PhD, Global Head of Development, Biopharmaceuticals. “With the FDA acceptance of our regulatory submission for proposed biosimilar rituximab, we plan to deliver patients a high-quality Sandoz biosimilar that, following approval, could help drive healthcare savings and increase competition, while freeing up resources for and supporting patient access in other areas of cancer care including innovative therapies.”

The BLA consists of a comprehensive data package that includes analytical, preclinical and clinical data. Clinical studies included a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) trial in rheumatoid arthritis (ASSIST-RA), and a Phase III confirmatory safety and efficacy study in follicular lymphoma (ASSIST-FL). Sandoz believes these data provide confirmation that the proposed biosimilar matches the reference medicine in terms of safety, efficacy and quality.

Sandoz is committed to increasing patient access to high-quality biosimilars. As the pioneer and global leader in biosimilars, Sandoz has five biosimilars marketed worldwide, as well as a leading global pipeline. We plan to launch a total of five major oncology and immunology biosimilars between 2017 and 2020. This includes biosimilar rituximab, which was approved by the European Commission for use in Europe in June 2017 (marketed as Rixathon®).

Sandoz is well positioned to continue leading the biosimilars industry based on its experience and capabilities in development, manufacturing and commercialization. As a division of Novartis, the first global healthcare company to establish a leading position in both innovative and off-patent medicines, Sandoz benefits strongly from this unique blend of experience and expertise in many different market environments.

Sandoz also continues to champion policy and legislation that enables patients and the healthcare system to benefit from biosimilars. This was demonstrated by the recent US Supreme Court unanimous positive decision related to the Notice of Commercial Marketing (NCM). The Supreme Court ruled that NCM can be provided before FDA approval, accelerating patient access to future US biosimilars by 180 days. The Court also provided additional clarity on how the “patent dance,” the process by which biosimilar manufacturers may provide confidential and proprietary information to the manufacturer of the reference medicine in the patent exchange process, will function.

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iData ResearchSandoz Proposed Biosimilar Rituximab Accepted for Review by the FDA

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