News Briefs: Celltrion Launches Vegzelma, Fourth Avastin Biosimilar in U.S.
Celltrion Healthcare Co. launched Vegzelma (bevacizumab-adcd), the company said on April 17. The FDA approved the injectable last September for multiple types of cancer, including colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer. It is the fourth FDA-approved biosimilar of Avastin (bevacizumab) from Genentech USA, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, to launch in the U.S. While the company has partnered with other companies in marketing biosimilars in the U.S., its Celltrion USA unit is taking full responsibility for this launch.
The FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) voted 11-1 that AstraZeneca and Merck & Co., Inc.’s Lynparza (olaparib) in combination with abiraterone and prednisone or prednisolone for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) should be limited to people whose tumors have a BRCA mutation. The FDA accepted a supplemental New Drug Application for a broader approval in mCRPC for the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor last August. The class of drugs — which also includes GDK’s Zejula (niraparib) and Rubraca (rucaparib), whose rights Clovis Oncology, Inc. recently sold to pharma& Schweiz GmbH a few months after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — have been under some scrutiny after they withdrew some of their indications.