Celltrion's anticancer drug approved for sale by European Commission

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Celltrion's anticancer drug approved for sale by European Commission

Vegzelma, a Celltrion biosimilar version of the anticancer drug Avastin, was approved for sale by the European Commission, the company said Friday.
The drug is an identical copy of bevacizumab, better known as Avastin, the name it is marketed under by Switzerland’s Roche. It is used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, metastatic breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and glioblastoma.
Celltrion said it will release the products in the European market within the year. Distribution will be handled by Celltrion Healthcare, its overseas marketing affiliate.  
Vegzelma is Celltrion’s third anticancer biosimilar after Truxima, which treats blood cancers, and Herzuma, which targets stomach and breast cancers. 
The Avastin patent expired in July 2019 in the United States and in January 2022 for most parts of Europe. Avastin generated $6.4 billion in global sales in 2021, and of that amount, $1.6 billion came from the European market, according to data from the health care market tracker IQVIA.
Celltrion is currently waiting for use approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The result is likely to be announced within the year, the company said.
Biosimilars, according to FDA, are biological products that are approved based on proof that they are highly similar to other FDA-approved products. The drugs have no clinically significant differences in terms of safety or effectiveness from the reference product, but they cost less.

BY SARAH CHEA [chea.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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