AstraZeneca considering entering biosimilars market


LONDON AstraZeneca may soon start developing biosimilars, according to published reports.

David Brennan, the company’s CEO, told the Financial Times that depending on legislation being considered, the Anglo-Swedish drug maker might expand into creating follow-on versions of biologics that have lost patent protection.

Merck and Eli Lilly have also said they might develop biosimilars. Merck announced earlier this month that it would create a new biosimilars division, Merck BioVentures, to make follow-on and novel biologics using engineering technology from GlycoFi, a company it acquired in 2006. The Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based drug maker plans to launch its first biosimilar, the anemia drug MK-2578, in 2012 and have at least five biosimilar candidates at that time.

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