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Research

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].

European regulatory framework for approval of biosimilars – perspectives and future developments

Regulatory agencies around the world have reviewed and approved marketing authorization applications for biosimilars via specific marketing authorization procedures that vary between jurisdictions. In Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has already more than 10 years of experience with review of applications and approval of biosimilars for use in the European Union.

Safety surveillance of bevacizumab biosimilar (Bevax) in Argentina

Benefit-risk evaluations are mandatory throughout the life cycle of a therapeutic agent, to guarantee efficacy for the authorized indications without an unacceptable incidence of adverse effects. This monitoring can be carried out using pharmacovigilance (PhV) procedures, which are vital in the identification and prevention of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Due to the inherent variability of bioproduction, this is of paramount importance for biological products, including biosimilars.

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].

Positive phase I results for Fresenius Kabi’s pegfilgrastim biosimilar

Fresenius Kabi, one of the independently operated business segments of global healthcare group Fresenius, announced on 9 October 2018 that results from two phase I studies of its pegfilgrastim biosimilar (MSB11455) had met their primary endpoints.

Positive results for Chinese rituximab and trastuzumab copy biologicals

Researchers from Shanghai Henlius Biotech have presented positive phase III study results for their rituximab [1] and trastuzumab [2] copy biologicals.