CVS Health launches private label biosimilars unit


CVS Health has made a move on the US biosimilars category with the launch of Cordavis, a new business unit that will work with other drugmakers to bring private-label biosimilar therapies to market.

The subsidiary has already joined forces with Sandoz on its first product, a biosimilar for AbbVie's Humira (adalimumab) recently approved as Hyrimoz. A new version is set for launch in the US under a Cordavis label in early 2024 at an 80% discount to the original brand's list price.

According to Prem Shah, chief pharmacy officer at CVS Health, the new business will bring high-quality biosimilar products to market with the twin goals of reducing drug spending in the US and ensuring access to affordable medications.

"Biosimilars are crucial to creating competition and reducing costs for specialty pharmaceuticals where drug prices are rising the fastest," he said. "Through our direct involvement, we will expand the supply chain and ensure biosimilar availability in the market."

The aim is eventually to offer a whole range of biosimilar therapies, with Cordavis handling manufacturing in some cases through outsourcing companies, as well as the commercial distribution end. In the case of Hyrimoz, CVS will buy the product from Sandoz.

CVS Health said the biosimilars market in the US is projected to grow from less than $10 billion in 2022 to more than $100 billion by 2029, citing figures from Fortune Business Insights.

The launch of Cordavis is yet another example of ongoing disruption in the US biosimilars market, with a lot of activity around Humira due to its broad utility and massive sales, which hit a high of $21 billion last year before the entry of copycat products into the US market.

So far, most of the new products have kept prices fairly high, not too far off Humira's $6,900 monthly cost. However, Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drugs has partnered with Coherus to offer its Yusimry biosimilar for just under $570 per month and already has deals to supply the drug through pharmacy-benefit managers (PBMs) RxPreferred and SmithRx.

"CVS Health has a history of bringing innovative solutions to the market that lower the cost of drugs and ensure people have access to the medications they need to stay healthy," said Shawn Guertin, CVS Health's chief financial officer.

"Cordavis is a logical evolution for us and will help ensure sufficient supply of biosimilars in the US and support this market now and in the future, while ultimately improving health outcomes and reducing costs for consumers," he added.