BIO-Europe Spring® 2016: Lucentis biosimilar to be sold to emerging markets by Xbrane Biopharma
The CEO of Stockholm-based Xbrane Biopharma Martin Åmark tells Pharma Intelligence Senior Editor Sten Stovall that the complex generics specialist aims to be the first to sell a biosimilar version of Lucentis in Iran as part of its strategy to leverage patent gaps in emerging markets for high-priced drugs. The Swedish biotech recently signed a sales and distribution deal for its lead ranibizumab biosimilar, called Xlucane, to be launched on the Iranian market in 2017 by Swiss biopharmaceutical company Helvetic BioPharma. Xbrane plans similar deals in other emerging markets. Ranibizumab is branded Lucentis by Novartis AG for wet treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD). "We will be selling our biosimilar version of Lucentis in places where it doesn't have patent protection, such as Latin America excluding Mexico, and Northern Asia excluding China, and the Middle East excluding Turkey. So after Iran, we plan to market our biosimilar version of Lucentis in India, but we haven't decided on a definitive partner there yet. We are still conducting dialogues with companies," Åmark says.