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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].

Secrecy is an obstacle to the use of biosimilars in the US

Factors that Professor Frank believes may be affecting uptake include naming and interchangeability guidance, insurance payment arrangements and secrecy about manufacturing processes [1]. In this article, secrecy about manufacturing processes is discussed.

Safety of biosimilar infliximab in pregnant women with IBD

Introduction of the first biosimilar infliximab (CT‑P13, Remsima/Inflectra) for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) was aimed to reduce the healthcare cost burden and to increase the number of treated individuals with similar treatment results. Shortly after CT‑P13 has been authorized for usage in clinical practice, many concerns arose due to the fact that the principle of extrapolation of limited clinical results had been applied to the biosimilar, which led to approval of the biosimilar in all the indications of the originator biological (Remicade). However, these concerns have proved to be unfounded, as subsequent studies have confirmed the similar efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of CT‑P13 and Remicade in the general IBD population [1].

Insurance payment arrangements are an obstacle to biosimilars use in the US

The slow development of the market competition for biosimilars in the US may be caused by several factors, according to Professor Richard Frank from the Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA [1]. In this article, insurance payment arrangements for biologicals and biosimilars are discussed.

Biosimilars in rheumatology: the current state of play

Biological disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) have revolutionized the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other inflammatory diseases. Over two decades, their use has risen exponentially but their significant cost has contributed to increasing healthcare expenditure in many countries. Biosimilar development is an opportunity to lower drug expenses and optimize use. This review detailed the current state of biosimilars in rheumatology, including their development, trial data, economic impact and logistical considerations [1].

Interchangeability is an obstacle to the use of biosimilars in the US

According to Professor Richard Frank from the Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, there are several factors that may account for the slow development of the market for biosimilars in the US [1]. In this article, the issue of interchangeability of biosimilars is discussed.

Phase I study of biosimilar trastuzumab demonstrates equivalent pharmacokinetics to reference product

Trastuzumab, a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody, acts against the tyrosine kinase human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which is overexpressed in up to 30% of breast cancers and gastric cancers and has been linked to poor prognosis. In the age of targeted anticancer therapy, trastuzumab is a key treatment for patients with HER2-positive (HER2+) tumours and is recommended by a number of clinical guidelines. However, the use of ‘originator’ (or reference) biologicals, such as trastuzumab, is associated with high treatment costs; an issue set to be exacerbated by an ageing population. The improved cost-effectiveness potentially provided by a biosimilar may increase patient access to treatment.

Afucosylated biosimilars: the path to matching interrelated critical quality attributes

Advances in analytical characterization and increased understanding of drug mechanisms of action have resulted in the ability to raise the quality and safety of biosimilars by introducing critical quality attributes (CQA), which must be preserved during the manufacturing process. However, to realize these benefits, biosimilars manufacturers must develop the means to ensure these CQAs are met. For afucosylated IgG1s that rely on afucosylation content for efficacy, this has been challenging, since precisely matching both afucosylation content and biological activity has proven to be extremely difficult. In a recent paper, Chung and Zhan [1] elaborate on the underlying basis of these difficulties and highlight the work of several groups that has opened a path to directly addressing this problem.

Naming is an obstacle to the use of biosimilars in the US

Factors that may account for the slow development of the market for biosimilars in the US are discussed by Professor Richard Frank from the Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA [1]. In this article, the factor of biosimilars naming is discussed.

Obstacles to the use of biosimilars in the US

Professor Richard G Frank from the Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, discusses factors that may account for the slow development of competition in the market for biosimilars in the US [1].