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General

Biosimilars highlights for 2017

There are many product launches and various topics such as naming, extrapolation, interchangeability and switching of biosimilars in 2017 [1]. Important milestones achieved during 2017 were the biosimilar approvals of Renflexis (infliximab-abda), Cyltezo (adalimumab-adbm), Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb), Ixifi (infliximab‑qbtx), and Ogivri (trastuzumab-dkst), along with the approval of follow-on insulin lispro biological Admelog, by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Biosimilars of cetuximab

Last Update: 13 April 2018

Cetuximab is a chimeric (mouse/human) monoclonal antibody. It inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and is used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and head and neck cancer.

Biosimilars of insulin glargine

Last update: 16 March 2018

Insulin glargine is a long-acting basal insulin analogue, given once daily to help control the blood sugar level of those with diabetes. It consists of microcrystals that slowly release insulin, giving a long duration of action of 18 to 26 hours. Insulin glargine is indicated for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in adults, adolescents and children aged two years and above.

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.