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Biogen launches Remicade biosimilar in the UK

Flixabi provides another low-cost alternative to J&J’s biggest-selling drug
Biogen Flixabi pack shot

Biogen has launched its version of Johnson & Johnson's Remicade (infliximab) in the UK, giving the immunology blockbuster a third biosimilar competitor.

Flixabi joins Pfizer's Inflectra and Mundipharma's Remsima, two Remicade biosimilars manufactured by Celltrion, in looking to take sales from Remicade.

Developed by Samsung Bioepis - a joint venture between Biogen and Samsung BioLogics - and marketed in the EU by Biogen, Flixabi (infliximab) won EU marketing authorisation in May this year.

In doing so it matched Remicade's approval for the treatment of Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis in adults.

Additionally, the biosimilar can also be used in children aged 6 to 17 years old who suffer from severe, active paediatric Crohn's disease or severely active paediatric ulcerative colitis.

Flixabi is the second anti-TNF biosimilar the company has launched in the UK this year, joining Benepali on the market.

Benepali is a biosimilar version of Pfizer/Amgen's big-selling Enbrel (etanercept) that received the nod from the European Commission in January, and is now available in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK.

Biogen's regional director for its UK Biosimilars business Darren Clarkson said the two biosimilars “offer physicians and healthcare systems high-quality alternatives at a lower cost”.

He added: “We are the first company in the UK to launch two anti-TNF biosimilars, thereby offering physicians and patients with a choice of biologic therapies.

“With the launch of Flixabi, we further our commitment to increasing patient choice and expanding access while helping to reduce the burden on healthcare systems.”

Biogen estimates that over 600,000 people in the UK are affected by chronic inflammatory diseases, and is hopeful that its two biosimilars will be taken up by the NHS to alleviate the £470m that the diseases currently cost the service each year.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

7th September 2016

From: Sales

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