It's been a long, long regulatory road, but the first FDA-approved biosimilar--a copy of Amgen's Neupogen from Novartis' generics unit, Sandoz--is finally here. But that doesn't mean it'll catch on right away, as the Swiss pharma's CEO has been first to admit.
Novartis and its Neupogen biosimilar are steamrolling toward the U.S. market. But Amgen hasn't given up stopping the product in its tracks. The biotech last week urged a California court to block the biosimilar launch, with FDA approval expected as soon as March 9.
The ripple effects from last week's Teva v. Sandoz ruling have begun. The U.S. Supreme Court sent three patent fights back to a lower court in light of that ruling, which ordered the Federal Circuit Court to defer to district-level findings on patent claims unless a "clear error" had been made.
Those looking for a window into the FDA's thoughts on biosimilars got their first direct peek Monday. The agency released briefing documents for an upcoming panel meeting on Novartis' biosimilar of Amgen's Neupogen. The takeaway? The FDA seems to be softpedaling on whether the biosim is "interchangeable" with Neupogen itself, allowing approval to be based on biosimilarity instead.
Novartis' generic division, Sandoz, is having to recall one lot of its generic version of Novartis' blood pressure drug Atacand, but it is a copy that it does not manufacture itself. The drug is made in India by Mylan.
The patent provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act are familiar to both sides of the branded-generic fence by now. Not so when it comes to similar procedures related to biosimilars. In fact, as a lawsuit over Sandoz's knockoff version of the Amgen therapy Neupogen shows, the two sides don't even agree on the rules.
After trying nearly everything in its power to protect lead product Copaxone from early generic competition, Teva just received some news it least wants to hear: Copycats are going after its new, long-acting version of the drug, too.
A federal court in Canada has now agreed with the industry that the country's price setting board has assumed too much authority and severely curtailed its ability to control prices over generic drugs in a case centered on Novartis' generic drug company Sandoz, and a unit of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which started as Ratiopharm.
Last week, generics makers asked the Supreme Court to let them launch their copies of Teva's Copaxone while it hears the Israeli company's appeal over the drug's patents. Now, they'll likely get that chance. Chief Justice John Roberts rejected Teva's bid to block competition until the court clash wraps, meaning generics could hit as soon as next month.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs like Ritalin have been on the FDA shortage list for a variety of reasons. Now add to that packaging problems which have led Novartis to recall nearly 22,000 bottles.