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Hospira Begins Phase I U.S. Clinical Trial of Biosimilar Erythropoietin in Renal Patients
Date:7/26/2010

class="xn-location">Europe to make affordable, safe and effective biosimilars available to U.S. patients and their healthcare providers once patents expire over the next several years."

Hospira already sells a biosimilar EPO in Europe, Retacrit™, and is the first U.S.-headquartered company with biosimilars on the European market. Retacrit, introduced in early 2008, now has a more than 50 percent share of the total short-acting EPO biosimilar market in Europe. In addition, Hospira recently launched Nivestim™, a biosimilar version of filgrastim, in the United Kingdom, Germany and Ireland. Filgrastim is a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) used to treat neutropenia, a condition in which the body makes too few infection-fighting white blood cells. The condition is often caused by drugs prescribed for cancer treatment.

Hospira's Phase I study is being conducted with the participation of DaVita Inc. (NYSE: DVA), and Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA (NYSE: FMS, FMS/P). Although Phase I trials are most often conducted with healthy volunteers, Hospira received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to conduct its Phase I trial with patients.

Biosimilars are high-quality, cost-effective alternatives to proprietary biopharmaceuticals, which are large-protein molecules derived from genetically modified cell lines. In contrast, "traditional" pharmaceuticals are made from small-molecule, chemical substances. With a growing number of patents for biopharmaceuticals expiring, Hospira has significantly expanded its comprehensive competencies to develop, manufacture and ma
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SOURCE Hospira, Inc.
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