First Among Unequals

  • by: |
  • 07/29/2014

According to a new article in BioCentury :

Sandoz picked a relatively simple molecule for its first
FDA biosimilars application, but the Novartis AG unit is presenting the agency with three tough regulatory challenges. Sandoz is asking FDA to allow it to share a non-proprietary name with the reference product, Neupogen filgrastim from Amgen Inc.; to extrapolate clinical data from a single indication to all five indications on the Neupogen label; and, sooner or later, to designate the Sandoz product as interchangeable with Neupogen.

The agency will face a more difficult scientific challenge when it reviews an application from Celltrion Inc. for its biosimilar version of Remicade infliximab, a mAb marketed by Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co. Inc. Celltrion has publicly said it will submit an application in 2H14, and may have already done so.

As the first publicly disclosed biosimilars application in the U.S., the Sandoz Neupogen biosimilar application will force FDA to address unresolved policy issues and will demonstrate whether the agency has crafted a viable, efficient biosimilars review pathway.

One particular quote from Mark McCamish, Sandoz’s global head of biopharmaceuticals & oncology injectibles development for those of you following the nomenclature debate, “Biosimilar is a lousy term; it suggests to most physicians they are biodifferent.”

That’s one man’s opinion. But shouldn’t accuracy be applauded?

Much grist for the mill there.

Authored by BioCentury’s regulatory policy scribe, Steve Usdin, Putting FDA to Biosimilars Test is a story worth reading – and an issue worth following.


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.

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