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On 18 May 2017, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a positive opinion, recommending the granting of a marketing authorisation for the medicinal product Blitzima, intended for the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA). The applicant for this medicinal product is Celltrion Healthcare Hungary Kft.

Blitzima will be available as a 500 mg concentrate for solution for infusion. The active substance of Blitzima is rituximab, a monoclonal antibody (ATC code: L01XC02) that binds specifically to the transmembrane protein CD20 found on both malignant and normal B cells. In NHL and CLL, this promotes destruction of malignant B cells and thus controls tumour growth. In GPA and MPA, it reduces the levels of B cells involved in their pathogenesis.

Blitzima is a biosimilar medicinal product. It is highly similar to the reference product Mabthera (rituximab), which was authorised in the EU on 2 June 1998. Data show that Blitzima has comparable quality, safety and efficacy to Mabthera. 

The full indications are:

“Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)

Blitzima is indicated for the treatment of previously untreated patients with stage III-IV follicular lymphoma in combination with chemotherapy.

Blitzima maintenance therapy is indicated for the treatment of follicular lymphoma patients responding to induction therapy.

Blitzima monotherapy is indicated for treatment of patients with stage III-IV follicular lymphoma who are chemo-resistant or are in their second or subsequent relapse after chemotherapy.

Blitzima is indicated for the treatment of patients with CD20 positive diffuse large B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in combination with CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisolone) chemotherapy.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)

Blitzima in combination with chemotherapy is indicated for the treatment of patients with previously untreated and relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Only limited data are available on efficacy and safety for patients previously treated with monoclonal antibodies including Blitzima or patients refractory to previous Blitzima plus chemotherapy.

See section 5.1 for further information.

Granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis

Blitzima, in combination with glucocorticoids, is indicated for the induction of remission in adult patients with severe, active granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s) (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA).”

It is proposed that Blitzima be administered under the close supervision of an experienced healthcare professional and in an environment where full resuscitation facilities are immediately available.

Detailed recommendations for the use of this product will be described in the summary of product characteristics (SmPC), which will be published in the European public assessment report (EPAR) and made available in all official European Union languages after the marketing authorisation has been granted by the European Commission.

Name Language First published Last updated
CHMP summary of positive opinion for Blitzima (English only) 2017-05-19  

Key facts

Product details for Blitzima
INN or common name


Therapeutic area Lymphoma, Non-HodgkinLeukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell
Active substance


Date opinion adopted18/05/2017
Company name

Celltrion Healthcare Hungary Kft

Application typeInitial authorisation

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