Welcome to the Big Molecule Watch!


Goodwin’s award-winning Big Molecule Watch is the best resource for daily updates and analyses of regulatory issues, litigation, legislation, and other news in the world of biologics, biosimilars and related technologies. The editors of this blog have collectively been watching and engaging with the world of biologics and biosimilars (“big molecules”) since before the inception of the biosimilar industry in the U.S.  With extensive experience representing clients at all stages of a biologic’s or biosimilar’s lifecycle, from research and development, to patents, to regulatory application and approval, and through litigation and appeals, we are excited to share our observations and insights as the industry and the law continues to develop in this exciting area.

This blog focuses on “big molecules” as opposed to “small molecules.” Small molecule drugs have low molecular weight, a simple and well-defined structure, and are chemically synthesized. In contrast, “big molecule” drugs have high molecular weight, complex structures, and are derived from living organisms. For example, aspirin is small molecule while a monoclonal antibody is a big molecule. For further reading on big molecules, consider FDA's resources on biologics.

FDA Approves Amgen's WEZLANA As Biosimilar to and Interchangeable With Janssen's STELARA (ustekinumab) - Stelara Is One of the 10 Drugs Selected by CMS for Drug Price Negotiations Under the Inflation Reduction Act

On Tuesday, October 31, FDA approved Amgen’s WEZLANA (ustekinumab-auub) as biosimilar to and interchangeable with Janssen’s STELARA (ustekinumab).  WEZLANA is the first product to be approved as a biosimilar to STELARA.  As we covered previously, Janssen and Amgen settled their BPCIA litigation regarding Amgen’s ustekinumab biosimilar product in May 2023….

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FDA Approves LOQTORZI in All Lines of Treatment for Recurrent or Metastatic Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

On October 27, Coherus BioSciences, Inc. and Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co., Ltd. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved LOQTORZI (toripalimab-tpzi) in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine for the first-line treatment of adults with metastatic or recurrent locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and as monotherapy for the treatment…

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FDA to Review Vertex Pharmaceutical’s Application for CRISPR-based Gene Therapy Exa-cel

The Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee of the FDA is meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, October 31, 2023, to review a Biologics License Application by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. for exagamglogene autotemcel (exa-cel).  Exa-cel is a cell-based gene therapy product composed of the patient’s own hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) edited…

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Genentech and Biogen File Joint Stipulation of Dismissal in BPCIA Litigation Regarding Tocilizumab

As we previously reported, in July 2023 Genentech, Inc., Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (collectively, “Genentech”) filed BPCIA litigation against Biogen MA Inc. and Bio-Thera Solutions, Ltd. in the District of Massachusetts, asserting that Biogen sought FDA approval “to commercialize ‘BIIB800,’ a proposed biosimilar to Genentech’s drug Actemra®…

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Amneal Expands Oncology Offering with Two Denosumab Biosimilars

On October 12, Amneal announced that it will be adding two denosumab biosimilars to its oncology pipeline, referencing PROLIA and XGEVA. Denosumab is indicated for bone metastasis from various forms of cancer and for the prevention of bone pain and fractures, including osteoporosis-related injuries. Amneal announced that mAbxience will develop…

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Recent FDA Initiatives to Support Development of Individualized Cell and Gene Therapies and Rare Disease Therapies

Last month, FDA issued a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register seeking information and comments from interested stakeholders regarding “critical scientific challenges and opportunities to advance the development of individualized cellular and gene therapies (CGTs).” Individualized CGTs are therapies “developed for a single patient (or a very small…

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Celltrion Expands Access to YUFLYMA (adalimumab-aaty)

On October 5, Celltrion Healthcare Co. announced that it has signed a contract with Ventegra, a major U.S. Medical Benefits Manager (MBM) “who administers pharmacy benefits through its Pharmacy Services Administration (PSA) model that has been effectively displacing traditional PBM’s.”  According to the press release, YUFLYMA (adalimumab-aaty) will be a…

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Meitheal Announces Exclusive Commercial Licensing Agreement for Insulin Biosimilars in the US

Meitheal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Meitheal”) has entered into an exclusive licensing deal with Tonghua Dongbao Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“THDB”) to market three insulin biosimilars (insulin aspart, insulin lispro, and insulin glargine) in the United States.  The agreement grants Meitheal and its parent company, Nanjing King-Friend Biochemical Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“NKF”), exclusive…

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