Eli Lilly & Co announced yesterday it is ready to launch Abasria, a cheaper biosimilar version of Sanofi's blockbuster diabetic drug, Lantus. The company will release Abasria in Europe when the European patents for the original drug expire in May. Following the news, Sanofi stock dropped more than 3%.
Biosimilars are a cheaper version of original biologic drugs, and are similar to the original drugs but not their exact copy. Several biosimilar drugs have been approved in Europe since 2008, whereas the US FDA is still to approve the first biosimilar for the US market.