Activity on Pfizer’s biosimilar front has been electric over the past couple of months, as it executes its launch plan for three biosimilar monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer.
In December, the company launched its bevacizumab biosimilar Zirabev®, and on January 23, Pfizer announced the availability of its rituximab biosimilar Ruxience®. Ruxience is the second launched biosimilar to the reference product Rituxan®; Teva and Celltrion began marketing their rituximab biosimilar in November 2019.
In its latest announcement, Pfizer demonstrates a consistent policy in terms of pricing of these cancer treatments. The wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) for Zirabev was set at $61.34 per 10 mg vial (a 23% WAC discount to Roche’s reference product Avastin®). Ruxience will be sold at a 24% discount to Rituxan, and for its February 15 launch of the trastuzumab biosimilar Trazimera®, it will be offered at a 22% discount to the innovator product Herceptin®. The average sales price (ASP) for Zirabev was 12% below that for Avastin, but it is not the least expensive biosimilar bevacizumab—Amgen’s Mvasi® is 12% below this.
For Ruxience, Pfizer’s pricing ($71.68 per 10 mg vial) represents a significant 16% discount off of Teva’s WAC for Truxima. The latter’s initial WAC discount from Rituxan was only 10% (still 11% lower than Rituxan’s ASP). Pfizer’s Ruxience is presently 24% below the ASP of Roche’s reference biologic. Additional competition for this category is not expected from Amgen until late in the fourth quarter of this year.
Pfizer enters a more crowded marketplace with the upcoming launch of Trazimera. Both Kanjinti® and Ogivri® have been launched, the latter being made available in December 2019 at a 13% ASP discount to Herceptin. Pfizer’s pricing of $80.74 per 10 mg vial would place it at a 24% ASP discount to Herceptin (it should be noted that Roche’s Herceptin Hylecta is priced below this ($79.18 per 10 mg vial).
Two other trastuzumab biosimilars are expected to become available this year, further reducing the cost of these agents.