Alvotech (NASDAQ: ALVO) and Bioventure, announced that the Saudi Food & Drug Authority (“SFDA”) has approved the manufacturing and distribution of AVT02, a biosimilar for Humira® (adalimumab), which is commonly indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and several other inflammatory diseases. The biosimilar will be marketed as Simlandi™ in Saudi Arabia.
A biosimilar is a biologic medicine that is very similar to and has no clinically significant differences from an already approved biological drug but may be more affordable than the reference product. In the last twelve months reported, ending on October 1, 2022, Humira (adalimumab) was the world’s highest grossing pharmaceutical product, other than COVID-19 vaccines, with global sales of US$21 billion, according to the manufacturer of the reference product .
“The approval of Simlandi by the SFDA marks an important milestone for local patients and physicians,” said Ashraf Radwan, Division CEO of GlobalOne Healthcare Holding. “We are proud to partner with Alvotech, who share our mission to lower the cost burden on healthcare systems and improve patient quality of life. We look forward to bringing this essential treatment to patients in Saudi Arabia as well as other key markets in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Robert Wessman, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Alvotech, added: “Approval in Saudi Arabia is a significant step in Alvotech’s journey to offer broader access worldwide to more affordable biologics. We believe that biosimilars are important in addressing inflationary pressures for healthcare systems in all markets, especially where the penetration of biologics has been depressed due to high cost and lack of access.”
Bioventure is Alvotech’s exclusive strategic partner for the commercialization of Simlandi in the Middle East and North Africa. Bioventure and Alvotech have previously entered into license agreements for multiple biosimilars.
Under the terms of the license agreement for AVT02 between Alvotech and Bioventure, Alvotech will handle development and manufacturing, while Bioventure will be responsible for the commercialization of the biosimilar. This is the first biosimilar approved under this strategic partnership.
 Source: Quarterly financial reports by AbbVie