Toronto – March 9, 2023 – Biosimilars Canada is pleased to announce the unanimous election of Mr. Mike Woolcock, Senior Vice President of the Apobiologix division of Apotex, as Chair of the Biosimilars Canada Board.
Mr. Mike Casia, President and Managing Director of Organon Canada, has been unanimously elected as Vice-Chair of the Biosimilars Canada Board.
Their elections come at a time when the market acceptance and use of biosimilars in Canada is expanding rapidly through the adoption of biosimilar transition or “switching” policies. To date, seven provinces and one territory have adopted policies that require patients to make a transition from an originator biologic drug to a corresponding biosimilar under the supervision of their treating physicians.
More than 1.77 million retail prescriptions were filled with biosimilars medicines in Canada in 2022, and this will continue to grow as Ontario and other jurisdictions fully implement their biosimilar transitioning policies. This is in addition to the extensive use of biosimilars in hospitals and oncology.
“Canada has made great strides in the market acceptance and growth of biosimilars in recent years, but there is much more work ahead to achieve a sustainable biosimilars market and ensure a robust pipeline of biosimilar medicines for Canadians in the future,” said Mr. Woolcock.
Mr. Woolcock noted that the use of biosimilars by private drug plans continues to lag utilization by public drug plans, and a coherent and transparent national approach to biosimilar drug pricing in Canada has not yet been developed.
He added that Health Canada has not yet streamlined its submission and other requirements as part of the domestic implementation of the WHO guidelines for biosimilar evaluation, and some Canadian-specific regulatory requirements continue to create barriers for companies seeking to bring new biosimilars to the market.
Mike Woolcock has been a member of Apotex for 10 years and is Senior Vice President of Apobiologix, the company’s biologics division. He previously served as Vice-Chair of the Board. Mr. Woolcock has more than 30 years of experience in managing the commercialization of pharmaceutical and biotech products. He has worked in small and large pharmaceutical companies as well as start-up and large biotechnology companies. Prior to joining Apotex, Mr. Woolcock held sales, marketing and R&D positions with Procter & Gamble and biotech companies Cortech and Amgen. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Genetics from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia.
Mike Casia was appointed President and Managing Director to launch the Canadian operations of Organon in June 2021. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Casia played a key role in Organon’s creation, working as Chief of Staff to Organon’s CEO during the development of the business case, strategy, and the stand-up of the organization. He has spent 14 of his 20 years within the pharmaceutical industry working directly in the biologics/biosimilars space in Canada, Europe and internationally, and has held country, regional and global roles in the United States, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, France and Canada. Mr. Casia holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from McGill University.
The Biosimilars Canada Board thanks its inaugural Chair Mr. Michel Robidoux, President and General Manager of Sandoz Canada, for his many years of industry leadership. Mr. Robidoux will remain an active member of the Biosimilars Canada Board.
About Biosimilars Canada
Biosimilars Canada is a national association representing the biosimilar medicines industry in Canada. Our member companies are at the forefront of the global development and marketing of biosimilar medicines. Biosimilars Canada provides leadership in educating Canadian stakeholders about the safety and efficacy of biosimilar medicines, and advocates for policies that support their timely approval, reimbursement, market acceptance and expanded use. Biosimilars Canada is a division of the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association. Visit us at www.biosimilarscanada.ca.
About Biosimilar Medicines
A biosimilar biologic drug, or biosimilar, is a drug demonstrated to be highly similar to a biologic drug that was already authorized for sale. Health Canada evaluates all the information provided to confirm that the biosimilar and the reference biologic drug are similar and that there are no clinically meaningful differences in safety and efficacy between them. Health Canada’s rigorous standards for authorization mean that you can have the same confidence in the quality, safety and efficacy of a biosimilar as any other biologic drug. Additional information about biosimilar medicines can be found in Health Canada’s fact sheet Biosimilar biologic drugs in Canada.
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