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General

Biosimilars of pegaspargase

Pegaspargase is a modified enzyme. It is a form of L-asparaginase which has undergone PEGylation. It is used as an anticancer (‘antineoplastic’ or ‘cytotoxic’) chemotherapy drug. It is indicated for the treatment of acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL), non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and for treatment of patients who have had a hypersensitivity reaction to another form of asparaginase.

Biosimilars of denosumab

Denosumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that is an inhibitor of the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), which works by preventing the development of osteoclasts which are cells that break down bone. It is used for the treatment of osteoporosis, treatment-induced bone loss, metastases to bone and giant cell tumour of bone.

Biosimilars of certolizumab pegol

Certolizumab pegol is a monoclonal antibody directed against tumour necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-α). More precisely, it is a PEGylated Fab’ fragment of a humanized TNF inhibitor monoclonal antibody. It is indicated for the treatment of Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Biosimilars of pegfilgrastim

Last update: 23 February 2018

Pegfilgrastim is a PEGylated form of the recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) analogue filgrastim. It serves to stimulate the level of white blood cells (neutrophils). Pegfilgrastim treatment can be used to stimulate bone marrow to produce more neutrophils (white blood cells) to fight infection in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Biosimilars of filgrastim

Last update: 23 February 2018

Filgrastim is a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Filgrastim treatment can be used to stimulate the bone marrow to produce more neutrophils (white blood cells) to fight infection in patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

‘Similar biologics’ approved and marketed in India

Last update: 15 February 2018

There have been established guidelines for approving generic versions of small molecule chemical drugs in India for some time already. However, no specific guidelines for ‘similar biologics’, as the Indian regulatory authorities call these products, existed in India until 2012. This has been the case despite the fact that the requirements for granting regulatory approval for such ‘similar biologics’ required more data than for a simple generic drug application [1].

Similar biotherapeutic products approved and marketed in Latin America

Last update: 15 February 2018

Regulation of similar biotherapeutic products in Latin America varies widely among different countries and many countries have yet to introduce guidance for biosimilars, Latin America is moving towards increasing standards of regulation for these products [1, 2].

Quebec adds biosimilar etanercept Erelzi to public drug plan

In August 2017, Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, announced that its etanercept biosimilar, Erelzi, was now available in Canada [1], after the company received Health Canada approval for the biosimilar in April 2017. Quebec is now the most recent Canadian province to add Erelzi to its public drug plan for the treatment of multiple inflammatory diseases.

Glossary of key terms

Last update: 9 June 2017

Confusion may sometimes surround terms used in the fields of generics and biosimilars. This has been recognized as a problem by EMA, who has expressed the need to propose a more precise definition for biosimilars due to problems arising from imprecise usage of the terms in the scientific literature and elsewhere [1].

Biosimilars approved in Australia

Last update: 9 February 2018

In Australia, the legal framework for approving medicines was established via the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

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