LG Chem Ltd., South Korea’s leading chemical company, begun selling its biosimilar etanercept for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Japan.
The move came four months after the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approved Etanercept BS, LG Chem’s biosimilar to Amgen Inc.’s Enbrel. Etanercept BS is the first biosimilar etanercept introduced in the Japanese market, which is estimated to be worth $370 million.
LG Chem said it supplies Etanercept BS to Japan’s Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., which in turn provides the biosimilar to another Japanese distributer, Ayumi Pharmaceutical Corp., for sale to consumers.
Biosimiliar is a biologic medical product which is a near-identical copy of an original product made by a different company.