Threats to the CD20 space – and Biogen's cash cow
Biogen has collected billions in royalties from Roche’s anti-CD20 franchise, and will continue to do so after opting in to a bispecific project this week. But what are the threats to this income stream, and for how much longer can Roche expect to dominate this space? Consensus forecasts from Evaluate Pharma show why Biogen decided to claim its rights over mosunetuzumab. The project is attracting the highest sales forecasts among the next-generation CD20 approaches, though there are many contenders in the pipeline and lots of data still to come. Abbvie this week said it hoped to file the Genmab-derived epcoritamab for accelerated approval later this year, for example, putting it not too far behind Roche, which has started a rolling submission for mosunetuzumab. Elsewhere, biosimilar versions of Rituxan are already biting; the market share of products from Pfizer and Teva/Celltrion are not too far off Rituxan's slice of the US market. Ocrevus is making up those losses for now, and the MAb is unlikely to see low-cost competition this decade. But Roche will be highly motivated to ensure that CD20 bispecifics prolong its stranglehold on this space, a determination from which Biogen looks well set to benefit.