The South Korean firm set out its position as it prepares to roll out Remsima in more markets, telling Biopharma-reporter.com its deal with Hospira will “remain unchanged" while the US firm finalizes its takeover by Pfizer.
Remsima – which is due to be launched by Celltrion and partners in major European markets tomorrow – is a biosimilar version of Remicade (infliximab) which is sold by Janssen selling it in the US, Merck & Co in Europe and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma in Japan.
The copycat drug is due to be launched by Celltrion’s partner Napp Pharmaceutical – an associate of Mundipharma International - in the UK on February 25, a day after the originator product loses patent protection.
The monoclonal antibody – which is used to treat autoimmune disorders - was one of several biosimilars licensed by Hospira in 2009. The US drugmaker already sells in 24 European countries as Inflectra.
Two brand plan
Celltrion told us “A two-brand strategy for the same product is not uncommon in the industry. Due to marketing matters, including cultural differences and different distributors in local markets, pharmaceutical companies use multiple brand names catering to local needs.“
“Hospira, in partnership with Celltrion Healthcare, uses its own brand name Inflectra in their territories, while other partners use Remsima. In Europe, Hospira has a co-exclusive license for Inflectra.”
Celltrion has also filed Remisma for review by the US Food and Drug Administration, which is due to meet to assess the product on March 17.
Earlier this month Hospira told us if the drug is approved by the US regulator, it will assume responsibility for sales.