Sanofi Takes on Rituximab in Asian Biosimilar Market

Sanofi inks deal with Taiwan’s JHL Biotech to create biosimilar that could take over China’s cancer market.

Rituximab / Image: MedPage Today
Rituximab / Image: MedPage Today

A December 6th LabioTech article discussed the partnership formed between French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi and biopharmaceutical manufacturer JHL Biotech. The two companies recently signed a $236M deal for Sanofi to gain exclusive rights to commercialize JHL’s rituximab biosimilar in China. Rituximab is Roche’s top-selling biological and the second top-selling biological overall, bringing in $7.22 billion last year.

Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody that destroys B cells to treat diseases like lymphoma, leukemia, transplant rejection and autoimmune disorders. Novartis’ Sandoz is pulling ahead in the U.S. and Europe markets with its rituximab biosimilar, which is already under review for approval by the FDA and EMA. Amgen and Pfizer both have dogs in the fight with their own rituximab competitors in clinical development.

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