The South Korean drugmaker told delegates at the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation’s (ECCO) in Barcelona, Spain that Remsima could save the UK, Italy and France €336m ($413m) over the next five years.
Celltrion told BioPharma-Reporter the predicted savings, which are based on its own analysis, will let national healthcare systems provide the treatment to more patients, sooner.
“The high cost of biologics places a considerable burden on healthcare systems, and can affect patient access to treatment.”
“Biosimilars have the potential to offer considerable cost savings to health services, especially as they are often used to treat long-term conditions. They may also help to increase the number of patients who have access to biological therapies.”
The firm also confirmed that, as is the case for all biosimilars, Remsima costs less than Remicade because developing it required less investment and clinical development expenditure.
"Since the reference medicinal products’ cell line information is available, biosimilar developers do not need to invest as much as originator companies in research and development."
Inflectra in more markets
The prediction comes days after Hospira launched Inflectra, a drug containing the same active pharmaceutical ingredient as Remsima that it licensed from Celltrion in 2009, in “major” European markets.
Hospira is due to be acquired by Pfizer. Celltrion declined to comment when asked what impact the US drug giant’s marketing clout will have on the market share likely to be achieved by Remsima and Inflectra.
A spokesman for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which decides which drugs and treatments are available on the NHS in England and Wales, declined to speculate on the biosimilars might have on UK healthcare spending.
Remicade price cuts
It is also due to be launched by Celltrion’s partner Napp Pharmaceutical – an associate of Mundipharma International - in the UK on February 25, a day after the originator product loses patent protection.
Remicade is sold by a number of drugmakers, with Janssen selling it in the US, Merck & Co selling it in Europe and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma selling in Japan.
Merck is already bracing for the impact of biosimilars. Earlier this month, the US drugmaker predicted it will be forced to cut the price of Remicade in countries like France and Spain where reference pricing is used.