Merck Launches Ontruzant®, First Trastuzumab Biosimilar in Europe

Last week it was reported (here and here) that Merck launched Samsung Bioepis’ Ontruzant® in the United Kingdom, the first biosimilar trastuzumab launched in Europe.  Ontruzant® is a biosimilar of Roche’s Herceptin® and is approved to treat early breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer and metastatic gastric cancer.  This launch follows the November 2017 European Commission grant of marketing authorization.  Regarding the launch, Dr. Mark Verrill, Head of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, stated:  “This is good news for so many cancer patients and the NHS.  The launch of biosimilar trastuzumab provides a high-quality treatment alternative for patients, while offering significant potential savings for the NHS.  The biggest category of medicines in oncology is monoclonal antibodies and the introduction of biosimilars such as trastuzumab could provide a substantial cost saving.”

In other trastuzumab news, last week Daewoong Pharmaceutical launched Samsung Bioepis’ biosimilar trastuzumab in the Republic of Korea under the name Samfenent.

Stay tuned to Big Molecule Watch for more launch news.