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US drug contracting system is ‘rigged’ against biosimilars

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb has said that the drug contracting system in the US is ‘rigged’ against biosimilars. His remarks came during a speech he made on 7 March 2018 at the America’s Health Insurance Plans National Health Policy Conference in Washington DC.

Cadila and Kalbe advancing biosimilar ambitions

Indian generics maker Cadila Healthcare (Cadila) and Indonesia-based Kalbe Farma (Kalbe) are both making advances into the biosimilars field.

Biosimilars of darbepoetin alfa

Last update: 9 March 2018

Darbepoetin alfa is a synthetic form of erythropoietin. It stimulates erythropoiesis (increases red blood cell levels) and is used to treat anaemia, commonly associated with chronic renal failure and cancer chemotherapy.

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].