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Sorrento's partner seeks approval of biosimilar to J&J's Remicade in China

Sorrento Therapeutics Inc.'s partner Mabpharm Ltd. filed an application in China seeking approval for a biosimilar of Johnson & Johnson's blockbuster medicine Remicade.

A biosimilar is a biological product that is similar to a reference drug in terms of safety and efficacy.

China-based Mabpharm, which went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in May 2019, had submitted a new drug application to China's National Medical Products Administration for the biosimilar antibody-based on Remicade, or infliximab.

Remicade is an injectable drug that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and psoriatic arthritis, among other things. The J&J medicine generated worldwide sales of $3.35 billion for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2019, down from $4.09 billion in the same period a year ago.

Sorrento said in a Jan. 6 press release that it is planning to file all the required documents for a biologics license application for the biosimilar drug candidate in the U.S. by the end of 2020.

San Diego-based Sorrento noted that it owns the global rights to Mabpharm's infliximab biosimilar antibody outside of China under a licensing agreement with the Chinese company.