The European Commission (EC) has now issued anapproval to Sandoz, Novartis’ generics arm, to sellRixathon for diseases such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.It is a biosimilar version of Roche's best-seller MabThera(Rituxan) drug. While Rixathon, from Novartis's Sandoz generics unit is cheaper than roche’smabthera, it aims to entice business away from Roche's medicine.
Roche's Rituxancombined aroundUSD 7.5 billion in global sales in the year 2016 and prices millions per year.
Rixathon is sanctioned for immunological diseases such as microscopic polyangiitis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis, and rheumatoid arthritis as well as chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma).
Novartis is consideringsome insurance companies and impoverished healthcare systems to support cheaper versions which are as equally successful in trials. Such as Britain, has set anobjective for 90% of new patients in its hospitals willbe treated withthe biosimilars.
Carol Lynch, global head of Biopharmaceuticals department in Sandoz stated that their aim is to escalate patient access to biologic drugs and,Rixathonis one of the five key launches that theyhave plannedfor their next four yearsobjective.
Previously this year, Celltriongot a regulatory approval for its biosimliar of the drug Truxima.
Novartis proposes to up the stakesoon this year by lodging for approval of its Rixathondrug in the United States.