Celltrion Healthcare said Wednesday that it has signed a supply agreement with Mundipharma to distribute Truxima (Original: Rituxan), a biosimilar that treats blood cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, in Colombia.
Under the accord, Mundipharma, a multinational pharmaceutical firm, will be in charge of distribution and sales for Truxima in that country. Colombia holds 20 percent of the Latin American rituximab market, except Brazil and Mexico.
The Latin American country is one of the pharmerging markets, a new term for countries that have emerging pharmaceutical market with high growth potential and low clinical development cost. Colombia has taken a pro-biosimilar stance since 2014.
Celltrion Healthcare had succeeded entering the Colombian market with Inflectra (Original: Remicade), which started sales in 2015. Currently, the drug holds 30 percent share in the country’s infliximab market.
The agreement also comes after the company signed a distribution partnership agreement with countries such as the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, after receiving sales approval for the treatment.
Celltrion Healthcare plans to cooperate with its distribution partners to complete the launch of Truxima in the first half of this year with the aim of expanding market share in South America. By the end of this year, the company plan to expand its sales to Central America and Caribbean countries.
In particular, the company plans to establish an offshoot in Colombia to aggressively market its products in the Latin America’s pharmerging market by the first half of this year.
“Mundipharma has been working to find new markets to supply medical products that are stable and competitive, and the contract of distributing Truxima is the result of such efforts,” said Raman Singh, president for Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and North Africa at Mundipharma. “We are pleased to supply the Colombian patients with the drug, which has proven its quality and competitiveness in the European market.”
Celltrion Healthcare seemed equally enthusiastic about the agreement.
“In Colombia, demand and expectations for biosimilar drugs are very high, as original drugs have been sold exclusively for a long period,” a company official said. “The company plans to provide biosimilars for patients and medical staff in Latin American countries so that they can have various treatment options at a more reasonable cost.”
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