Biosims Drive Down Roche Sales in Europe

Oct. 20, 2017

Roche Holding’s top-selling drug, Rituxan, saw sales drop in Europe last quarter, amid competition from biosimilars.

First approved in 1997 and now a mainstay of treatment for blood cancers and some autoimmune diseases, Rituxan is the first major cancer treatment to have become vulnerable to competition from biosimilars in Europe.

The European Commission approved Celltrion’s rituximab biosimilar, Truxima, in February. In June, the EC approved Sandoz’s Rixathon. The U.S. FDA is currently reviewing an application by Celltrion and Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Roche is relying on new drugs -- such as multiple sclerosis therapy, Ocrevus -- to drive sales as Herceptin and Avastin also face competition from biosimilars.

Read the Bloomberg article