GC Pharma said it obtained local approval for Glargia Prefilled Pen (insulin glargine), an antidiabetic biosimilar that copied Lantus, on Wednesday.
The Korean firm’s latest product is the second Lantus biosimilar after Boehringer Ingelheim’s Basaglar. Making use of its experience of selling Novo Nordisk’s insulin, GC Pharma is expected to push the sale of Glargia Prefilled Pen to compete against the original drug.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety gave the sales license to GC Pharma for Glargia Prefilled Pen, which will be an import version of Lantus biosimilar by India’s Biocon. GC Pharma sought regulatory approval in December 2016 and successfully avoided Lantus ingredient patent in 2017. The pen-type injection offers user convenience.
Lantus is a blockbuster antidiabetic injection in the insulin market, selling more than 30 billion won ($282 million) in 2017, according to UBIST data.
Observers said it would not take long for GC Pharma to bring Glargia to the market. The price of the injection will be the key whether the drugmaker can raise its share in the insulin market, they said.
According to the public filing of drug prices, Lantus Injection Solosta is 12,245 won per unit, and Basaglar, 10,714 won. There is only 1,531 won difference between the two.
The individual cost may vary depending on the weight of the patient, but the price difference between Lantus and Basaglar is small.
Basaglar is not selling well since its market release. As GC Pharma gears up with the second Lantus biosimilar, Glargia might secure a more share in the Lantus market if GC Pharma sets the price relatively low, observers said.