The first biosimilar drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will now be marketed in the United States. Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz), made my Novartis subsidiary Sandoz, was approved by the FDA on March 6, but had been stalled by lawsuits from Amgen. The drug is a biosimilar to Amgen’s Neupogen, which boosts white blood cell production in cancer patients.

“While biologics have had a significant impact on how diseases are treated, their cost and co-pays are difficult for many patients and the healthcare budget in general,”  said Dr. Ralph Boccia, Medical Director of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, and Chief Medical Officer for the International Oncology Network. “Biosimilars can help to fill an unmet need by providing expanded options, greater affordability and increased patient access to life-saving therapies.”