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FDA approves etanercept biosimilar Eticovo Posted 03/05/2019

Korean biosimilars maker Samsung Bioepis (Samsung and Biogen’s joint venture) announced on 25 April 2019 that it had received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its etanercept biosimilar.

Eticovo (SB4) is a proposed biosimilar to Amgen/Pfizer’s Enbrel (etanercept), which had sales of US$8.87 billion in 2015, before the advent of biosimilars [1]. The patents on Enbrel will expire in the US in November 2028, after Amgen was granted a new patent, and expired in Europe in August 2015 [2, 3]. Samsung Bioepis has therefore not said when it is likely to launch the product in the US.

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.

Eticovo has been approved across all eligible indications, namely ankylosing spondylitis, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Eticovo has been approved as a biosimilar, not as an interchangeable product. According to the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCI Act), only a biological that has been approved as interchangeable may be substituted for the reference product without the intervention of the healthcare provider who prescribed the reference product.

The approval of Eticovo marks the third biosimilar from Samsung Bioepis to be approved by FDA. Renflexis (infliximab-abda) was approved in the US in April 2017 [4] and Ontruzant (trastuzumab-dttb) was approved in January 2019 [5].

Samsung Bioepis also received European approval for its etanercept biosimilar, Benepali, on 14 January 2016 [6].

Related article
Switching to etanercept biosimilar SB4 safe and effective in a hospital setting

References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Biosimilars of etanercept [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2019 May 3]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/General/Biosimilars-of-etanercept  
2. Derbyshire M. Patent expiry dates for biologicals: 2017 update. Generics and Biosimilars Initiative Journal (GaBI Journal). 2018;7(1):29-34. doi:10.5639/gabij.2018.0701.007
3. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. New Amgen Enbrel patent could block biosimilars until 2028 [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2019 May 3]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/News/New-Amgen-Enbrel-patent-could-block-biosimilars-until-2028  
4. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. FDA approves biosimilar infliximab Renflexis [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2019 May 3]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/News/FDA-approves-biosimilar-infliximab-Renflexis  
5. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. FDA approves trastuzumab biosimilar Ontruzant [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2019 May 3]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/News/FDA-approves-trastuzumab-biosimilar-Ontruzant  
6. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Biosimilars approved in Europe [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2019 May 3]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Biosimilars/General/Biosimilars-approved-in-Europe 

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Source: BusinessKorea, Korea Biomedical Review, YonHap News

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