Celltrion HealthCare said Monday that its biosimilar Herzuma (Ingredient: trastuzumab) for the treatment of breast and gastric cancer has been rapidly expanding its presence in Japan, occupying a 40-percent market share last month.
Three trastuzumab biosimilars have been released in the Japanese market, and Herzuma took 95 percent of prescriptions, practically dominating its rivals, it said.
|Celltrion Healthcare’s Herzuma, a biosimilar for treating breast and gastric cancer|
Herzuma is enjoying a competitive edge as the first mover in the Japanese market, the company said. This, combined with the Japanese society’s improved perception about biosimilar products, has increased trust in the Celltrion group’s pharmaceutical products, the company said.
Celltrion Healthcare introduced a co-marketing system, in which its local subsidiary and its partner company, Nippon Kayaku, have separately supplied Celltrion’s products from the end of 2017. Its sales strategy was to have each marketer focus sales on channels in which it has a relative competitive edge.
"We tightened the sales network and operation with Nippon Kayaku, our local partner with experiences and know-how, managing the major supply networks, while Celltrion is taking care of marketing and sales activity for individual clinics," a Celltrion official said.
Japan is the first country in which Celltrion Healthcare introduced the world's first direct sales system of biosimilars. Celltrion expects the remarkable growth of Herzuma will have a positive effect on the sales of Remsima SC' (Ingredient: infliximab), too.
According to a company official, Celltrion continues its business feeling relatively less adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Herzuma won the 40 percent share of the 400 billion won ($324 million) trastuzumab market seven months after winning approval for full indication in August 2019.
The Japanese government is implementing a Diagnosis Procedure Combination system, going in a helpful direction for prescribing biosimilars in treating breast cancer, a major indication of Herzuma, the company said.
All this indicates Herzuma’s expansion in the Japanese market will likely continue, the official said.
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