Joe Jimenez, Novartis CEO, Doesn't Expect An Early Impact of Biosimilars

Sandoz, the companies generics unit, recently submitted an application with the US FDA for approval of it's biosimilar filgrastim; it's the first-ever biosimilar application with the FDA.

Novartis

Swiss drugmaker AG does not expect copycat versions of biotech drugs to play an important role in the healthcare system for another three to five years, its chief executive said on Monday.

Novartis

' generics unit Sandoz is the No. 1 player in the field of copycat medicines, known as biosimilars because they are copies of biotech medicines made from living cells that cannot be replicated exactly.

Chief Executive Joe Jimenez said biosimilars generated about $500 million in sales for Novartis and were growing at a rate of about 20 percent per year.

"I think in two to three years you're not going to see a big difference," Jimenez told reporters gathered at Novartis' Basel headquarters for an event about the healthcare challenges of an aging population.

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But he said he expected an "inflection point" following big biosimilar launches in 2017, 2018 and 2019, when many high-priced antibody drugs, which are among the pharmaceutical industry's biggest sellers, will lose protection.

Read the complete report here: http://reut.rs/1lbjOyc

Source: Reuters

Press release on Sandoz's biosimilar application: http://bit.ly/1peKVHf