Nov 8, 2022
Ming Li is the Chief Strategy Officer at Alvotech, a biosimilar-only company developing biosimilar drugs to provide lower-cost alternatives in the global marketplace. Biosimilars are analogous to generic medicines, but these drugs are complex molecules developed and produced out of living systems, requiring sophisticated manufacturing processes and often litigation. The bulk of success in biologics has been in oncology, immunology, gastrointestinal diseases, asthma, and osteoporosis.
Ming explains, "Biosimilars are somewhat analogous to generic medicines in that they are slightly less expensive to develop than it would be to develop a new molecule. They can be offered at a lower price to patients and healthcare systems. So, we are focusing on developing these more affordable biosimilars. We really think that there's an opportunity here because as biologics have become the standard of care across many different areas, they've also become a large portion of the costs when you look at pharma more broadly."
"In the US, as an example, I think it's almost 45 cents of every dollar spent on pharma is on a biologic. It's complex to develop biosimilars, and they call them similar because they're not exactly the same in the sense that these molecules are so complex you cannot create the exact same molecule. You have to control your process and develop your process and your product and your molecule within certain parameters that are accepted from regulatory agencies. We do aim to navigate those globally, navigate the regulatory environments globally and launch these products in almost every market in the world. That's our aim."
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