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Safe for IBD patients to switch to biosimilar infliximab

A UK study has shown that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients can be safely switched from originator infliximab, Johnson & Johnson’s and Merck’s Remicade, to biosimilar infliximab using a managed-switching programme [1].

Regional management of biosimilars in Germany

Biosimilars offer alternative treatment options and reduce the financial burden on healthcare systems often brought about by more expensive originator drugs. Approved biosimilars of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) inhibitors, such as infliximab or etanercept, are managed differently across Europe. A recent study by Dr Mathias Flume assesses the prescription structure and regional uptake of these biosimilars across Germany, with focus on the Westphalia-Lippe region [1].

Positive results for Pfizer’s adalimumab biosimilar

US pharma giant, Pfizer, reported positive top-line results from a comparative study of their candidate adalimumab biosimilar (PF-06410293). The originator biological, AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab) had sales of just over US$14 billion in 2015 [1], up 11.7% on the previous year, and retaining its place as the top grossing pharmaceutical product globally.

Positive phase III results for adalimumab biosimilar from Coherus

A phase III study of an adalimumab biosimilar (CHS‑1420) from Coherus has reported that the biosimilar is ‘similar’ to AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab), according to the company.

Position statement on approval of biosimilars in Latin America

The Fifth Latin American Forum on Biosimilars (FLAB) was held in Brasilia, Brazil in 2015 with the theme of ‘Interchangeability and Automatic Substitution’.  Discussions centred on the approval of CT-P13, an infliximab biosimilar; and RTXM83, a proposed rituximab biosimilar, in both Brazil and Argentina. Following these discussions, Babini et al. [1] published a FLAB position statement on the approval of these monoclonal antibody biosimilars in the context of current regulations in these two Latin American countries.

Assessing structural comparability using NMR

Several biologicals will lose patent protection within the next few years, opening up the market for biosimilars [1]. According to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, biosimilar applicants should demonstrate biosimilarity using a stepwise approach, which includes structural and functional characterization, animal toxicity, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, immunogenicity, and clinical safety and effectiveness [2]. FDA expects extensive characterization of the proposed biosimilar and the reference product using state-of-the-art analytical technology including analysis of the protein (primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary structure as well as post-translational modifications).

Biosimilars and treatment of IBD in Italy

In February 2015, the patent for infliximab expired in Italy.  Now, biosimilar CT-P13 products (Remsima and Inflectra), the first monoclonal antibody biosimilar of infliximab, are on the Italian market. In their recent paper, Annese et al. [1], assessed gastroenterologist’s view of the use of CT-P13 for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Italy. 

What makes physicians consider patients suitable for biosimilar infliximab

Prescribing physicians play an important role in the adoption of biosimilars in rheumatic diseases. Assessing physician perception of patients they consider as suitable for biosimilars may provide insights into eventual biosimilar adoption in clinical practice settings as well as any physician educational needs.

What internists should know about biologicals and biosimilars

Authors from the IRCCS Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy discuss some of the most frequent concerns raised by internists about biosimilars [1].

Positive phase III results for adalimumab and trastuzumab biosimilars

Phase III studies of an adalimumab biosimilar from Momenta Pharmaceuticals (Momenta) and a trastuzumab biosimilar from Pfizer have, according to the companies, shown that the biosimilars are ‘equivalent’ compared to their respective originator biologicals.

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