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CVS Health Drugmaker Sandoz is teaming up to produce a nearly identical version of the popular arthritis treatment Humira that will retail for 80% less than the brand-name drug.
The move is part of the company’s new venture focused on securing, and in some cases co-producing, biopharmaceuticals that are generic versions of the complex gene or protein-based therapies known as biologics.
“We’ve invested in committing certain quantities to the US market so that we have a permanent supply of the product. We want to make sure that once we get this product into the US market, we don’t have any supply issues, and we have no problem,” said Prem Shah, CVS Health’s executive vice president and division chief. Pharmacology: “A high-quality biosimilar product is available, and it will be released at a much lower price than the original molecule out there.”
CVS is already one of the leaders when it comes to sourcing generic drugs through Red Oak, its joint venture with… Cardinal health. But it is looking to consolidate its foothold in the biosimilar market, which is expected to grow to $100 billion over the next six years.
company said wednesday It is launching a new subsidiary called Cordavis, which will specialize in securing the supply of new biopharmaceuticals and will invest in Novartis Pharmaceutical CompanyGeneral Manufacturing Unit, Sandoz.
Sandoz, currently a unit of Novartis, is She is expected to be fired as a publicly traded independent company later this year.
CVS did not disclose the amount of investment in the new Hyromiz-branded biosimilar.
The company promises that the list price for Cordavis Hyromiz will be more than 80% lower than the current list price for Humira, which is made by the pharmaceutical company. Apve. It will be launched in the first quarter of 2024.
The first FDA-approved biosimilar to Humira, crazed Amjevita went on sale in January. Eight more biosimilars are expected to be introduced over the next year, including Hyromiz.
Amgen executives said demand for the company’s biological products appears to be growing, but securing coverage from health insurers is a challenge.
“It’s clear that we’re still in the early stages in the biosimilar market with Amjevita. We clearly see what new drive behavior is given such a large product that faces competition in biosimilars,” said Murdo Gordon, EVP of Commercial Operations, Amgen. . The company’s second quarter earnings call. “The clarity of how the benefit of pharmacology works with biosimilar uptake, or lack thereof, is becoming evident to us and other biosimilar manufacturers and other bystanders.”
Abbvie reported more than $4 billion in Humira sales last quarter, which was slightly better than expected. The company says it continues to offer health insurance plans on par with new biosimilars.
Cordavis’ firing has been in the works for a long time, before news last week from Blue Shield of California that it would drop CVS as director of pharmacy benefits and turn to Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drug company, Amazon Pharmacy and others to try to bail out. regarding drug costs.
The news sent CVS shares lower, but analysts like John Ransom of Raymond James say the sell-off was overdone.
At this point, the potential threat from startups is not as great as some might fear, especially when it comes to the current biosimilar market like Humira, Ransom said.
“Either they get a big discount from Abbvie, or they get a big discount from a competing biosimilar manufacturer,” Ransom said. “That’s where they have the advantage.”
He said Cuba’s Cost Plus doesn’t have the scale to buy enough generic or shelf space from manufacturers.