|Lab technicians at Celltrion test drug candidates. Courtesy of Celltrion|
Korean biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion said Tuesday it has received approval to sell its anticancer biosimilar Vegzelma in Japan.
According to the company, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare recently approved the sale of the biosimilar, also known as CT-P16, which referenced Switzerland-based Roche Holding's blockbuster pill Avastin.
Avastin, which kills cancer cells by removing blood vessels, is approved to treat numerous cancers, including metastatic colorectal cancer.
The nod by Japanese authorities came a month after the European Commission approved the sale of the biosimilar in Europe. Vegzelma was also approved for sale by Britain's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency earlier this month.
The Incheon-based Korean company also sought approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last year and is waiting for a decision.
A Celltrion official said the company plans to swiftly introduce Vegzelma in the Japanese market and strengthen its anticancer biosimilar portfolio in the future. (Yonhap)