Australia continues to focus on reducing healthcare expenditure and encouraging the use of biosimilars over their reference product. Cipla adopted deals route to capitalise on the opportunities that exist within the Australian biosimilars space, says GlobalData.
On March 2, 2021, Cipla Gulf and Alvotech expanded their partnership to market and distribute four biosimilars; aflibercept (Eylea), ustekinumab (Stelara), denosumab (Prolia, Xgeva) and golimumab (Simponi) in Australia and New Zealand. In 2019, Cipla Gulf signed commercialisation deals with Alvotech for biosimilar adalimumab in emerging markets and five immunology and oncology biosimilar candidates in South Africa.
Bhavani Nelavelly, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments, “The current biosimilars market in Australia is less competitive compared to Europe, with fewer approved biosimilars. However, there is significant unmet need for biosimilars in the Australian market. This recent deal showcases that Cipla is continuously looking to grow its in-licensed biosimilar franchise in Australia and other emerging markets. With two immunology biosimilars (ustekinumab and golimumab) that can be used across multiple autoimmune indications part of the deal, this strategic move will allow Cipla to make its presence felt in Australia’s biosimilar market.”
Australia’s biosimilars market is less mature compared to the EU and UK. However, after noting the cost-saving advantages of licensing biosimilars seen in EU markets, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in April 2018 adopted key recommendations from the EU for licensing biosimilars. In view of educating prescribers, pharmacists and patients on the benefits of biosimilars, the Australian government launched various initiatives, including the Biosimilar Awareness Initiative and educational websites.
According to GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center, there are currently 10 biosimilars approved for three biologics in immunology. Sandoz, Pfizer and Samsung Bioepis are the key players in the immunology biosimilars segment in Australia.
Nelavelly concludes, “Cipla is expanding its footprint in key emerging markets, using biosimilars. With no other approved biosimilars in Australia for the molecules included in the deal between Cipla Gulf and Alvotech, Cipla Gulf is expected to face marginal competition. Overall, it appears that Cipla Gulf is gearing up to strengthen its immunology biosimilars portfolio, foreseeing potential opportunities in the biosimilar space in Australia.”