China moves on Gleevec

  • by: |
  • 07/18/2013

Another example of domestic manufacturing policy trumping the public health?

It took only two months after patent expiry in China for two generic versions of Novartis AG’s blockbuster chronic myeloid leukemia drug Glivec (imatinib) (marketed as Gleevec in the U.S.) to gain China FDA approval, and many more are expected to follow suit. But Novartis plans to fight back by highlighting the quality and efficacy of its brand and its long-running patient assistance program.

Two companies received CFDA approval June 26, Jiangsu Hansoh Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Jiangsu Chia-tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., or CTTQ, 60% of which is held by Hong Kong-listed Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd. CTTQ holds the first capsule generic approval, while Hansoh received CFDA approval for a tablet formulation of imatinib. Generic imatinib for chronic myeloid leukemia will launch in August, Sino Biopharmaceutical said during a July 4 event.

Although the Glivec compound patent expired in China in April, Novartis still holds a beta crystalline patent in the country until 2018 and a patent for a gastrointestinal stromal tumors indication until 2021, Novartis China said. According to Novartis, the two China generics are likely alpha crystalline forms of imatinib.

“The generic has a different crystal type, so the product quality and treatment result will be totally different,” said Wendy Wang, head of communications for Novartis Oncology China.

The imatinib generics race is just warming up. According to CFDA’s database, as of July 16, there were 16 new applications for imatinib generics in 2013, including an imported drug application.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
Better Health
Biotech Blog
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum
Club For Growth
Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
Envisioning 2.0
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Real Clear Politics
Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst
The Lonely Conservative
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog