Say hello to Roche's worst-case scenario: Teva's Rituxan biosim set to launch in U.S.

Truxima
Roche's Rituxan is facing its first U.S. biosimiliar competitor in Teva and Celltrion's Truxima. (Roche)

Already facing the launch of U.S. biosimilar competitors to two of its oncology blockbusters, Roche is facing a tough road ahead. Now, with a Teva and Celltrion biosim of the third member of its oncology troika ready for shelves, Roche's worst-case scenario has officially arrived.

Teva is set to launch Truxima, its copy of Roche's Rituxan co-marketed with Celltrion, next week as the first in a line of challengers to the oncology med's blockbuster U.S. sales.

Truxima will launch with Rituxan's full oncology label––including indications in non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia––at a 10% discount off Rituxan's wholesale acquisition cost. Truxima will list through primary wholesalers at $845.55 for a 100-milligram vial and $4227.75 for a 500-milligram vial with additional discounts and rebates available.

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The FDA approved Truxima in November 2018 as the first Rituxan biosim after initially rejecting the copycat's application, citing concerns about a manufacturing plant in South Korea. 

Tom Rainey, Teva's senior vice president of U.S. specialty sales and marketing, said Truxima may be the drugmaker's first biosimilar launch, but his team is well prepared to target physicians right away. 

"We believe Teva is perfectly positioned to bring biosims to the market," Rainey said. "We have a branded business on the oncology side that’s been very successful and a generics side of the business––biosimilars kind of fit in the middle." 

RELATED: Roche doomsday is here: Long-feared Herceptin, Avastin biosims bust into U.S. market

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