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Novartis's generics arm Sandoz (Switzerland) has the launched the first-ever biosimilar to be approved in Japan. The recombinant human growth hormone, somatropin, has been approved for treatment of growth hormone deficiency in children and growth disturbance associated with Turner's syndrome or chronic renal insufficiency.
Sandoz's Japan country head Junichi Nakamichi commented: "Japan can learn some valuable lessons from the market experience and data provided by the European example."
Somatropin, marketed as Omnitrope in Europe, was also the first ever medicine to be approved in the EU as a biosimilar. Sandoz is currently the only company with three biosimilars marketed in Europe.