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WHO to launch prequalification programme for biosimilars

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on 4 May 2017 that it would launch a pilot project for prequalifying biosimilars. This move says the organization, is a ‘step towards making some of the most expensive treatments for cancer more widely available in low- and middle-income countries’.

Fujifilm ramps up biosimilars production as UK court allows Humira biosimilar

A UK court has ruled in the favour of Japan-based Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics’ Humira biosimilar. The Fujifilm corporation has also announced a multi-million-dollar investment in its biologicals production facilities in the US.

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 adalimumab

Last update: 21 April 2017

Adalimumab is a human monoclonal antibody that treats autoimmune diseases by inhibiting tumour necrosis factor (TNF); a soluble inflammatory cytokine. Adalimumab binds to TNF-alpha (TNF-α), preventing it from activating TNF receptors, which cause the inflammatory reactions associated with autoimmune diseases. Adalimumab is indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid, juvenile idiopathic and psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis.

Increasing access to biosimilars and generics in Europe

On 2 March 2017, the European Parliament voted on a resolution to strike a better balance between European Union (EU) countries’ public health interests and those of the pharmaceutical industry.

Amgen at the centre of biosimilars disputes

The disputes involve a biosimilar of Amgen’s biosimilar of Roche’s Avastin (bevacizumab) and Amgen’s blockbuster Neulasta (pegfilgrastim) being made by Coherus Biosciences.

Biosimilars of pegfilgrastim

Last update: 7 April 2017

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.

FDA biologicals naming guidance could cost providers billions

Healthcare organizations have expressed their ‘grave concerns’ over the ‘enormous financial consequences’ of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) guidance on naming of biologicals.

Pharma associations issue position paper on biosimilar switching

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (EBE) and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) have issued joint guidance for prescribers on switching between originator biologicals and biosimilars.

FDA updates purple book for biologicals and biosimilars

On 21 February 2017, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) announced the availability of an updated version of the ‘Purple Book’.