New biosimilar drug ready

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New biosimilar drug ready

Samsung Bioepis, the biopharmaceutical unit of Samsung Group, is set to launch its second biosimilar product, Renflexis, in the domestic market.

MSD Korea, the sales and marketing partner of Samsung Bioepis, announced on Friday that the insurance price for the drug has been set at 363,530 won ($316).

“This essentially means all required processes to launch the medicine are done,” said a spokesman from Samsung Bioepis.

The 4-year-old biotech arm of Samsung, established in February 2012, released its first biosimilar product, Brenzys, after it received approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety last September. The drug then started being prescribed to local patients in December.

The drug was approved by the European Medicines Agency in January this year and entered markets such as Norway and the United Kingdom. In Europe, the drug is sold under the name Benepali.

Following the company’s first biosimilar venture, the second ambitious development by the company, Renflexis, is expected to be available on the domestic market around June, according to MSD Korea. The drug first received approval from the Drug Safety Ministry last December and was on hold until all administrative processes were completed.

The announced insurance price of Renflexis is set at 363,530 won, 5 percent cheaper than the original drug, Remicade of the Belgium-based pharmaceutical company Janssen Pharmaceutica. The price is the same as another biosimilar product, Remsima from the Kosdaq-listed Celltrion.

“We priced it more affordable compared to the original medicine so patients can choose from a variety of options,” an MSD spokesman said.

Renflexis, a biosimilar product of Remicade, is a cure to rheumatoid arthritis and adult Crohn’s disease.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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