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EQRx — the buzzy biotech company with a lofty mission of making far less expensive look-alike versions of blockbuster drugs — is finally starting to sign deals with insurance companies, a key step toward launching drugs that could shake up the market for medicines. But the deals are light on details, raising questions about just how meaningful that shake-up might eventually be.
The company’s approach to developing drugs relies on “fast followers” — that is, drugs that are extremely similar to approved drugs that can be brought to market more quickly and cheaply than a product that’s breaking new ground. EQRx’s first two drugs for non-small cell lung cancer — aumolertinib and sugemalimab — are approved and pending approval in China, respectively.