Welcome to the Big Molecule Watch!


Big Molecule Watch will be posting updates and analyses on regulatory issues, litigation, legislation, and other news in the ever-developing world of biosimilars. The editors of this blog have collectively been watching and engaging with the world of biosimilars (“big molecules”) since before the inception of the biosimilar industry in the U.S., and we’re excited to share the observations of our active watch on this new forum.

If you’re looking for a primer on biologics, check out our background post introducing the world of biologics, biosimilars, and the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”).

We’ve also collected (and will continue to update) some reference documents that might be of interest to visitors of this blog—you can find them under the “Links” section to the right of this page.

FDA Approves New Trastuzumab Product

On February 28, 2019, the FDA approved Genentech’s Herceptin Hylecta (trastuzumab and hyaluronidase-oysk).  According to a press release from Roche, Genentech’s parent company:  “This new treatment includes the same monoclonal antibody as intravenous Herceptin® (trastuzumab) in combination with recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20, an enzyme that helps to deliver trastuzumab under…

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Sandoz Initiates Declaratory Judgment Action Against Amgen Concerning Manufacturing of Filgrastim and Pegfilgrastim Biosimilars

On February 21, 2019, Sandoz initiated a lawsuit against Amgen in the Northern District of California seeking a declaration that its biosimilar filgrastim and pegfilgrastim products do not infringe the Amgen’s ’997 patent. The ’997 patent relates to a method of protein purification and is in the same patent family…

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Biosimilar IPR Appeal Updates

Following the Celltrion and Pfizer settlements of the trastuzumab litigation, the Federal Circuit granted the request of the Director of the PTO to intervene under 35 U.S.C. § 143 (i.e., defend a PTAB decision when a petitioner withdraws on appeal) in the Genentech appeals of final written decisions of unpatentability in Case…

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Health Canada Drops Suffix in Biologic and Biosimilar Naming Convention

Last week, Health Canada announced that biologic drugs, including biosimilars, will be identified “by their unique brand name and non-proprietary (common) name, without the addition of a product-specific suffix. Both the brand name and non-proprietary name should be used throughout the medication use process so that biologics that share the…

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Pfizer Receives European Approval For Avastin® (Bevacizumab) Biosimilar

Pfizer announced today that the European Commission has approved its Avastin® (bevacizumab) biosimilar ZIRABEV™ for the treatment of metastatic carcinoma of the colon or rectum, metastatic breast cancer, unresectable advanced, metastatic or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), advanced and/or metastatic renal cell cancer and persistent, recurrent or metastatic carcinoma…

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PTAB Issues Final Written Decision Finding Immunex’s Patent at Issue in Dupixent® Litigation Unpatentable

Yesterday, the PTAB issued final written decisions in two IPR proceedings (IPR2017-01884 and IPR2017-01879) it instituted on February 15, 2018 against U.S. Patent No. 8,679,487 (the ’487 patent), held by Immunex.  The ’487 patent is directed to isolated human antibodies that compete with a reference antibody for binding to human interleukin-4 (IL-4) receptor. …

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