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General

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 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.

Brazilian oncologists favour ‘follow-on biological products’

The Brazilian Society of Clinical Oncology (SBOC) has issued a position statement on ‘follow-on biological products’ in oncology. The statement reflects the society’s views on issues such as naming, labelling, safety and efficacy, extrapolation of indications, interchangeability, switching and substitution of ‘follow-on biological products’, as well as on the potential impact ‘follow-on biological products’ may have on the financial burden in health care [1].

Spanish gastroenterologists update biosimilar position statement

The Spanish Society of Gastroenterology (Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva,SEPD) has updated its position statement on the use of biosimilars for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) [1]. The changes in the society’s position reflect the increasing body of evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of biosimilars.

ASCO issues position statement on biosimilars in oncology

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has issued a position statement on biosimilars in oncology. The statement reflects the society’s views on issues such as naming, labelling, safety and efficacy, interchangeability, switching and substitution of biosimilars, as well as on the value of biosimilars and prescriber and patient education [1].