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Biosimilars From Amgen, Allergan For Sale in U.S.

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc. and Allergan plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, announced two biosimilar drugs for cancer treatment which the companies co-developed are for sale in the United States as of July 19. Mvasi, a biosimilar drug to Genentech USA Inc.’s Avastin that treats colorectal, lung, brain, cervical and kidney cancers, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA also approved Kanjinti, a biosimilar drug to Genentech’s Herceptin, to treat breast and stomach cancers. “The introduction of biosimilars is an important step in increasing options for treating HER2-positive breast cancers, which account for about 25 percent of all breast cancers,” said Paula Schneider, chief executive of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in a statement. “As patient advocates, we are working to ensure that patients are educated about biosimilars and understand that these FDA-approved treatments are just as effective as the original biologic drugs.” List prices for the drugs will be 15 percent lower than the original products, Amgen said. Mvasi is $677.40 per 100 mg, and Kanjinti is $3,697.26 per 420 mg multi-dose vial. At launch, Mvasi was 12 percent lower than its competitor, Avastin. Kanjinti was 13 percent lower than Herceptin. Both drugs were developed by The Roche Group in Switzerland. Actual costs to patients and providers for these drugs are anticipated to be lower than the list price, Amgen said, since they don’t reflect discounts or rebates. Out-of-pocket costs are expected to vary depending on insurance status and eligibility for patient assistance. “Following several recent launches in Europe, we are excited to be launching our first two biosimilars in the U.S., which will provide for immediate savings for Medicare patients and commercial payers,” Murdo Gordon, executive vice president of global commercial operations at Amgen, said in a statement. “We have several more biosimilars advancing through our pipeline, even as we continue to drive innovation through novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases.” Amgen has a total of 10 biosimilars in its portfolio. Three have been approved in the U.S.

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