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Research

Clinical trials for adalimumab biosimilar ABP 501

The clinical trials used to support the approval of Amgen’s ABP 501 (Amjevita/Amgevita/
Solymbic) were critically reviewed by authors from Argentina and the UK [1].

Positive phase III results for Hisun’s adalimumab copy biological

Positive results were reported from a phase III trial of an adalimumab copy biological, HS016, which compared the candidate adalimumab copy biological HS016 with originator adalimumab Humira for the treatment of active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) [1].

Use of anti-TNF biosimilars in the US

Uptake of biosimilars in the US is slow to say the least. In fact, biosimilars currently make up only 2.3% of the US biologicals marketplace [1]. Researchers from the US therefore investigated whether anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) biosimilars are realizing their promise to increase competition and improve accessibility in the US [2].

Clinical trials supporting the approval of adalimumab biosimilars

Authors from Argentina and the UK critically review the evidence from trials of biosimilars in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) [1].

Clover starts phase III trial for etanercept copy biological in China

At the end of December 2019, Clover Biopharmaceuticals (Clover), a Chinese company focused on biological therapies, announced the start of a phase III trial of their etanercept copy biological (SCB-808), a proposed copy biological to originator biological Enbrel (etanercept).

Cost savings from the use of biosimilars in Canada

Analysis of the potential cost savings from the use of three biosimilars (filgrastim, infliximab and insulin glargine) in Canada shows that over CA$1 billion could have been saved in just a two-year period [1].

Positive phase I results for Qilu’s bevacizumab copy biological

Positive results were reported from a phase I trial of a bevacizumab copy biological, QL1101, which the authors say is ‘the first study to compare the pharmacokinetics of QL1101, a proposed bevacizumab [copy biological], with Avastin’ [1].

PK and PD similarity between pegfilgrastim biosimilar and Neulasta

Hexal AG has published phase I results for its approved pegfilgrastim biosimilar [1-3].

Arguments against Alberta’s plans to switch patients to biosimilars

In May 2019, the Canadian province of British Columbia introduced a policy of switching rheumatology patients to biosimilars [1]. Now, the province of Alberta is also considering plans to stop coverage of originator biologicals and switch patients to biosimilars for certain indications. The new policy, if introduced, will apply to the approximately 30,000 patients in Alberta living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) [2].

Tackling the challenge of safe automatic substitution of biologicals

The costs of biologicals are challenging the sustainability of pharmacotherapy. Affordable biosimilars are expected to trigger competition within the biologicals market. Increasing real-world experience on biosimilars and clinical switching studies have led to position papers supporting the interchangeability of biosimilars with their reference products under the supervision of the prescriber [1]. However, the uptake of biosimilars has been poor in Finland, since physicians have been reluctant to prescribe biosimilars, especially in the outpatient setting. One option to stimulate the uptake of biosimilars is the automatic substitution of biologicals at the pharmacy level.