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Celltrion prepares for direct sales in Australia

Korean biopharmaceutical company Celltrion’s distribution arm Celltrion Healthcare said Tuesday that it has joined Australia’s Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association to prepare for direct sales of its biosimilars Truxima and Herzuma in the country.

Celltrion Group’s three main biosimilars -- Remsima, Truxima and Herzuma -- are currently estimated to be worth 330 billion won ($280 million) in the Australian market.

Autoimmune diseases treatment Remsima was launched as Inflectra in Australia in 2015. 

Celltrion headquarters in Songdo, Incheon (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
Celltrion headquarters in Songdo, Incheon (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

Leukemia treatment Truxima and breast cancer treatment Herzuma gained Australian approval in March and July, respectively, and are gearing to launch in a direct sales system not involving a partner distributor.

“By joining the GBMA, we look forward to engaging positively to support the uptake of biosimilars in Australia,” said Celltrion Healthcare Vice Chairman and CEO Kim Hyoung-ki.

Celltrion Healthcare is the first firm to join the GBMA’s new “Biosimilar Membership,” which supports varying nature of manufacturers, especially biosimilar manufacturers without a generic portfolio.

“The addition of our newest member underscores the evolution of GBMA’s role within the Australian health care framework,” GBMA CEO Marnie Peterson said in her welcome remarks to Celltrion

Peterson stressed the sustainable value of biosimilars in that they reduce the pressure of growing costs of drugs for patients.

GBMA is the national association of Australia that represents companies that manufacture and distribute generic and biosimilar medicines. Members account for 90 percent of the generic drugs dispensed in Australia.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (