Abbvie Inc.’s blockbuster drug Humira is getting a 10th challenger that could give all the other adalimumab biosimilars a run for their money – depending on pricing and formulary coverage, of course. After delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and manufacturing issues, the U.S. FDA approved Simlandi, previously known as AVT-02, as a Humira biosimilar and interchangeable Feb. 23.
Amid intensifying competition in the PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint space, Samsung Bioepis Co. Ltd. kicked off a phase I study of SB-27, a biosimilar of Merck & Co Inc.’s blockbuster immunotherapy, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), for lung cancer. Posted on clinicaltrials.gov on Feb. 20, the randomized, double-blind, three-arm, parallel group and multicenter phase I study will examine the pharmacokinetics, efficacy and safety of SB-27 against an EU-sourced and U.S.-sourced Keytruda in 135 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.
The EMA has once again come in behind the U.S. FDA, granting market access to 77 new products in 2023, fewer than half the 157 approvals the FDA processed in the 11 months from January through December 2023.