Hetero launches biosimilar rituximab in India

August 4, 2015 7:42 AM
Hyderabad based Hetero has launched its own version of biosimilar rituximab under the brand name of Maball.

Hetero’s rituximab is a biosimilar version of Roche’s MabThera. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody used alone or with other drugs to treat Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia. It is also used for the treatment of other indications such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.

The product will be following biosimilar rituximab versions of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (marketed as Reditux) and Intas (marketed as Mabtas), launched in 2007 and 2013 respectively.

Due to the structure of the Indian market and first so-called biosimilar from Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Roche developed a different strategy. The company has not been actively promoting MabThera (and Herceptin) brand in India. Instead, Roche has made an agreement with a local company (Emcure Pharmaceuticals) and selling the product with two brands as Ristova and Ikgdar. Both products are cut-price versions of MabThera in India.

This is the second biosimilar launch by the company, in June last year it had launched Actorise (darbepoetin alfa) in collaboration with Cipla, which is used in treatment of anaemia caused due to kidney failure.

“Biosimilar is one of the key strategic business areas for Hetero. We have invested in biosimilar and will introduce more biosimilar MABs (mono clonal antibodies) in future. We also have plans to introduce affordable biosimilar Rituximab into key markets outside India through our partners”, said Bandi Parthasaradhi Reddy, CMD Hetero group.

Source: Hetero, Economic Times India, The Hindu

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