Napp Pharmaceuticals has launched Pelmeg in the UK, marking the group's first launch of a product developed by Cinfa Biotech, acquired by the Mundipharma network of independent associated companies in October last year.

Pelmeg, a pegfilgrastim biosimilar, reduces the duration of neutropenia and incidence of febrile neutropenia (FN) in adults treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy for malignancy.

The launch follows the European Commission’s approval of the drug in November 2018, as a self-administered, single dose formulation and a lower drug cost alternative to the existing long-acting option Amgen’s Neulasta.

FN puts 20%-30% of patients into costly hospital management and has an overall mortality rate of approximately 10%, partly because people who experience neutropenia and FN are at higher risk of infection, treatment dose reductions and dose delays.

Paul Clark, director of Biosimilars at Napp Pharmaceuticals, said: “We are proud to be delivering treatments that address patient need in the oncology treatment pathway and that could potentially improve patient experience at such a critical time.

"We hope that Pelmeg will not only help to alleviate some of the resource pressures on the NHS by providing a more affordable long-acting treatment option, but that it may also help improve patient access to these vital medicines.”

FN is a low level of a type of white blood cell called a neutrophil in the blood, affecting people being treated with chemotherapy for cancer. Pelmeg works by stimulating the bone marrow to produce more neutrophils, thereby reducing the duration of neutropenia and the incidence of febrile neutropenia.