Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Biocon, Celltrion reports on finance, COVID-19 treatments

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During the just-ended quarter, Biocon received marketing authorizations from the European Commission for a bevacizumab biosimilar (Abevmy) and an insulin aspart biosimilar (Kixelle). Biocon also received approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) for its trastuzumab biosimilar (Ogivri) in the 150 mg and 420 mg formulations. A WHO approval is generally referred to as a “prequalification” and represents the WHO’s thumbs-up for product quality and manufacturing practices. First-quarter biosimilar revenues were $89.6 million, up from $59.8 million a year earlier, representing a 53% improvement, the company said. Total net income was $34.7 million, up 95% from a year earlier.

In a statement, Arun Chandavarkar, managing director of Biocon, said improved sales in the company’s biosimilars segment were characterized by revenue growth in emerging markets and market share gains for the company’s pegfilgrastim and trastuzumab biosimilars in developed markets. The company also noted revenue gains for its insulin glargine product (Semglee), which was introduced in the United States in August 2020 and for which the company is seeking biosimilar status. Celltrion Group

Investigators found itolizumab improved the 1-month survival rate and lung function, with reduction in the need for ventilator or respiratory support. They concluded “Itolizumab is a promising, safe and effective immunomodulatory therapy for treatment of ARDS due to cytokine release in COVID-19 patients, with survival and recovery-benefit,” although further study was recommended and this was in accord with earlier published research that recommended a go-slow approach. Celltrion Group, another biosimilar developer, reported promising preclinical results for the use of regdanvimab (CT-P59) in the treatment of 3 variants (K417N, E484K, and N501Y) of the South African COVID-19 mutation (B.1.351). The company said CT-P59 demonstrated a significant reduction in viral load of SARS-CoV-2. Enrollment of 1300 patients in a global phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CT-P59 has been completed.

In its most recent earnings statement, Biocon said at least 6500 patients were treated with itolizumab in April 2021. In March, the company published results from a randomized phase 2 study of the safety and efficacy of itolizumab in patients with moderate-to-severe ARDS due to COVID-19. Itolizumab, an IgG1 kappa anti-CD6 monoclonal antibody, was approved in India in July 2020 as an off-label biologic for the emergency treatment of cytokine release syndrome in patients with moderate-to-severe ARDS. Originally launched in India for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis, the drug reduces T-cell infiltration at sites of inflammation without depleting T cells or B cells.

Source “We are encouraged by the new data, which reinforces that Celltrion’s CT-P59 treatment could be effective against the South African variant and variant mutations,” said HoUng Kim, PhD, head of the Medical and Marketing Division at Celltrion Healthcare.

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