) have been on the upswing ever since the European Medicines
Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use
(CHMP) recommended the approval of its Inflectra (infliximab)
for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory
bowel disease and plaque psoriasis. The European Commission will
review the CHMP's opinion and a final decision is expected in the
next three months. Shares of this provider of injectable drugs
and infusion technologies hit a 52-week high of $39.38 on Jul
We note that Inflectra is the biosimilar version of
Johnson & Johnson
Merck & Co. Inc.
) blockbuster drug Remicade. Hospira noted in its press release
that Inflectra is the first monoclonal antibody therapy to
receive a favorable opinion from the CHMP after review through
the EMA biosimilars regulatory pathway. Hospira stated in its
press release that Remicade sales crossed the $2 billion mark in
Positive results on Inflectra from a phase III study supported
the positive opinion issued by the CHMP. Inflectra met its
primary endpoint of therapeutic equivalence to Remicade in the
study. Data also revealed that the safety and tolerability of
Inflectra was comparable to Remicade. Hospira currently enjoys
the rights to Inflectra in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and
New Zealand under the agreement it signed with South Korean
company, Celltrion, in 2009.
Hospira, which currently markets two biosimilars in Europe,
boasts of a strong biosimilars pipeline with 11 candidates in
development. Biosimilars, which are generic versions of biologic
drugs, are expected to be a significant growth driver in the
generics industry in the coming years. The biosimilars market
represents huge commercial opportunity with a significant amount
of biologic sales slated to lose patent protection in the coming
Hospira carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
) appears to be more favorably placed in the medical sector with
a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
ATRICURE INC (ATRC): Free Stock Analysis
HOSPIRA INC (HSP): Free Stock Analysis Report
JOHNSON & JOHNS (JNJ): Free Stock Analysis
MERCK & CO INC (MRK): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.