Intas Pharmaceuticals, a company based in India, has launched RAZUMAB™, an anti-VEGF drug that is “biosimilar” to Lucentis. This means that RAZUMAB has a synthesized chemical structure that can substitute for, but not duplicate, Lucentis. To make biosimilarity possible, scientists must show that the new product is highly similar and have no significant differences from the original product in terms of safety, purity, and potency. This requires additional clinical testing, and biosimilar drugs are governed under an extended set of rules.
Intas is the first company globally to develop and launch a biosimilar version of Lucentis, which they say will be about 25% cheaper. The company expects to launch RAZUMAB in the US within the next 9 – 12 months.