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General

Biosimilars of epoetin alfa

Last update: 13 July 2018

Epoetin alfa is a human erythropoietin produced in cell culture using recombinant DNA technology. It stimulates erythropoiesis (increases red blood cell levels) and is used to treat anaemia, commonly associated with chronic renal failure and cancer chemotherapy.

Biosimilars applications under review by EMA – June 2018

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is the body responsible for approval of biosimilars within the European Union (EU). A legal framework for approving biosimilars was established in 2003. Approval of biosimilars is based on an abbreviated registration process, which allows biosimilars manufacturers to provide a reduced package of information compared to originator drugs, provided they can prove ‘similarity’ to the originator or reference drug.

Biosimilars of etanercept

Last update: 6 July 2018

Etanercept is a biological drug that treats autoimmune diseases by inhibiting tumour necrosis factor (TNF); a soluble inflammatory cytokine. Etanercept is indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid, juvenile rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Biosimilar infliximab blocked in Australia

Switzerland-based drug giant F. Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) has gained a temporary order in an Australian Federal Court blocking Sandoz from launching its rituximab biosimilar.

Biosimilars of adalimumab

Last update: 29 June 2018

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.

Biosimilars of ranibizumab

Last update: 29 June 2018

Ranibizumab is a monoclonal antibody fragment created from the same parent mouse antibody as bevacizumab. Ranibizumab inhibits angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), a mechanism similar to bevacizumab [1]. 

AbbVie and Samsung Bioepis reach patent deal over Humira biosimilar

Biosimilars maker Samsung Bioepis announced on 5 April 2018 that it had reached a ‘global resolution’ with pharma giant AbbVie ending all patent litigation regarding AbbVie’s blockbuster arthritis drug Humira (adalimumab).

Spanish associations sign biosimilars collaboration

The Spanish Association of Biosimilar Medicines (BioSim) announced on 21 March 2018 that BioSim and the Federation of Spanish Medical Scientific Associations (FACME) have signed a collaboration agreement that includes the creation of a joint working group to share up-to-date information on biosimilars.

Biosimilars approved in South Korea

Last update: 22 June 2018

In South Korea, the regulatory body for the approval of medicines, including biologicals and biosimilars, is the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), formerly the Korean Food and Drug Administration.

WuXi Biologics expands its biologicals manufacturing facilities

China-based WuXi Biologics, headquartered in Wuxi city of Jiangsu Province, is expanding its biologicals manufacturing capacity with new facilities planned in Ireland, China, Singapore and the US.