Novartis wins first FDA approval of biosimilar drug

The United States opened the door to cheaper biotech drugs Friday, accepting a biosimilar cancer drug made by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Zarxio, made by Novartis US-based unit Sandoz, the first biosimilar drug to win government approval in the country.

The FDA said Zarxio was highly similar in terms of safety and effectiveness to Amgen’s Neupogen, a biotech drug used to treat low amounts of certain white blood cells that often follow cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.

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