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Biocon, Viatris launch first ever interchangeable insulin biosimilar in US

Bengaluru, Nov 16 (IANS) Biocon Biologics Ltd, a subsidiary of Biocon Ltd, and Viatris Inc on Tuesday announced the US launch of interchangeable biosimilars SEMGLEEA (insulin glargine-yfgn) injection, a branded product, and Insulin Glargine (insulin glargine-yfgn) injection, an unbranded product, to help control high blood sugar in adult and pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes and adults with type 2 diabetes.

Both biosimilar products are available in vial and prefilled pen presentations and are interchangeable for the reference brand, LANTUSA (insulin glargine), allowing for substitution at the pharmacy counter.

Shreehas Tambe, Deputy CEO, Biocon Biologics said: "At Biocon Biologics we are committed to expanding access to high-quality, affordable biologics to patients worldwide. The launch of our interchangeable biosimilar insulin glargine in the US by our partner Viatris is in line with our aspiration to provide our biosimilar insulins to 'one in five' insulin dependent people with diabetes, globally."

This is indeed a landmark event and along with the recent formulary listings, we believe it will allow us to improve accessibility, availability and adoption of biosimilars in the US for the benefit of patients and the overall healthcare system, he said.

Viatris Head of North America Jose Cotarelo said: "Viatris has a long-standing commitment to improving patient access to sustainable, quality and more affordable healthcare. We are extremely proud to stay true to that promise by bringing to millions of people with diabetes with these interchangeable insulin biosimilar treatment options. We are pleased to also offer a broad range of options to help patients, which are intended to maximize access to these important medicines, regardless of financial circumstances, insurance or channel."

SEMGLEE (insulin glargine-yfgn) and Insulin Glargine (insulin glargine-yfgn), co-developed by Biocon Biologics and Viatris, are now available in the US market. The currently marketed non-interchangeable SEMGLEE (insulin glargine) is anticipated to be phased out by the end of the 2021 calendar year.