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Research

Liability chain of biosimilar switching

When an adverse event to a medicinal product, or a loss of efficacy, is experienced by a patient, the liability chain may potentially involve both the manufacturer and/or Marketing Authorization Holder (MAH) (products liability) and the healthcare professionals responsible for prescribing, dispensing and/or administrating (professional liability) the medicine.

Biosimilars - to switch or not to switch

Authors Marc Scherlinger and Thierry Schaeverbeke commented on the paper from Glintborg and co-authors ‘To switch or not to switch’ ,which reported the results of biosimilar etanercept switching in Denmark [1].

EMA continues to be open to alternative clinical development strategies for biosimilars

In the European Union (EU) and other highly regulated markets, companies need to prove the similarity of proposed biosimilars to the established reference product for gaining market authorization. European regulators recommend using a stepwise approach whose first steps consist of a demonstration of similarity at the analytical level and via non-clinical studies. In addition, as a later step, clinical studies are an important source of additional evidence.

Positive phase III results for rituximab biosimilar PF 05280586

Pfizer has presented positive phase III results for its rituximab biosimilar PF‑05280586 at the American Society of Hematology Meeting (ASH) annual meeting.

Long-term follow-up of switching to biosimilar infliximab

A study of long-term follow-up data after switching to biosimilar infliximab appears to show identical retention rates, according to French researchers [1].

Phase III study of biosimilar pegfilgrastim confirms safety and effectiveness in patients on myelosuppressive chemotherapy

Canada-based Apobiologix, a division of Apotex, reported results of an international, phase III, randomized, double-blind clinical trial to demonstrate biosimilarity between the Apotex pegfilgrastim biosimilar (Apo-Peg; Lapelga) and reference product Neulasta (Amgen) [1].

Efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of adalimumab biosimilar BI 695501

Adalimumab is the most commonly prescribed biological and is approved for rheumatoid arthritis as well as psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, along with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Its patent life terminated in 2016 in the US [1]. However, in the US AbbVie has stated that, although the composition of matter patent covering Humira expired in December 2016, non-composition of matter patents covering Humira expire no earlier than 2022. The company has therefore made settlement agreements with Amgen and Samsung Bioepis, delaying the launch of biosimilars until January 2023 [2, 3].

Biosimilars in Europe

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has pioneered the regulatory aspects of biosimilars since the first approval of a biosimilar in 2006. With the last authorization of bevacizumab in January 2018, 44 biosimilar products have been reviewed by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of EMA, 41 of them having been granted a marketing authorization [1].

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].

Positive results for adalimumab and etanercept biosimilars from Sandoz

On 23 October 2018, Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, presented positive phase III data for its adalimumab and etanercept biosimilars [1, 2].