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Celltrion hunting for supplier in US

PUBLISHED : June 15, 2017 - 14:19

UPDATED : June 15, 2017 - 14:20

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[THE INVESTOR] Celltrion has started searching for a contract manufacturer in North America where it plans to launch two biosimilar products, local media outlet The Bell reported on June 15.

“We are looking for a contract manufacturing operator to service the North American market,” a high-ranking official at the firm was quoted as saying. 




The move comes as the Korean company is gearing up to expand its foothold in the US with Truxima and Herzume -- copycat versions of Roche’s lymphatic cancer drug Rituxan and breast cancer therapy Herceptin.

The company plans to file biologics license applications for the two drugs at the US Food and Drug Administration over the next few months to begin sales as early as 2018.

If successful, Celltrion will sell three biosimilar products in the US, including its first biosimilar Remsima, biosimilar copy of Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade, launched last year.

“Market concerns over production capability will be eased as we are undergoing plant expansion in addition to searching for a CMO,” the official said.

The firm has two plants in Korea that have reached full capacity. Now met with escalating demand it plans to double production capacity at its first plant to 100,000 liters by 2018, with commercial production expected by 2019. A third plant will be built with a capacity of 120,000 liters to meet the increasing demand.

After this, Celltrion’s total capability will climb to 310,000 liters from the current 140,000 liters to overtake German drug giant Boehringer Ingelheim.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)

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