Biosimilars/Research

Biosimilars in Europe: prescriber survey

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 26/03/2021

A survey of European prescribers reveals a significant increase in familiarity with biosimilars since 2013 [1]. In addition, prescribers increasingly believe they should always have control of treatment decisions, including those to switch to a biosimilar.

Public health impact of using biosimilars and relevance of automated follow-up

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 26/03/2021

Biological reference drugs and biosimilars have highly complex structures. Biosimilars need to demonstrate their biosimilarity during their development but unpredictable variations can remain, such as micro-heterogeneity. The healthcare community may raise questions regarding the clinical outcomes induced by this micro-heterogeneity. Indeed, unwanted immune reactions may be induced for numerous reasons, including product variations. However, it is challenging to assess these unwanted immune reactions because of the multiplicity of causes and potential delays before any reaction. Moreover, safety assessments, as part of preclinical studies and clinical trials, may be of limited value with respect to immunogenicity assessments because they are performed on a standardized population during a limited period. Real-life data could therefore supplement the assessments of clinical trials by including data on the real-life use of biosimilars, such as switches. Furthermore, real-life data also include any economic incentives to prescribe or use biosimilars.

Pelmeg developed with aid of regulatory reform

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 19/03/2021

The development of Pelmeg, a biosimilar of pegfilgrastim, revealed flexibility in the regulatory guidelines as they were superseded by state-of-the-art science, a study uncovers [1].

Knowledge and perceptions about naming biosimilars in the US

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 19/03/2021

Following the introduction of biosimilars, naming conventions for biologicals have been introduced, in part to support pharmacovigilance.

Approaches to naming and labelling of biosimilars

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 12/03/2021

Naming and labelling of biosimilars has been a controversial issue and there is a long-standing debate regarding the naming of biologicals.

Infliximab biosimilars for IBD patients: experience from Italy

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 12/03/2021

In the last 20 years, biological drugs have become the mainstream therapy for patients affected by moderately-to-severely active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), even though they are associated with a significant increase in health-related costs. After the expiry of patents on originator drugs, the advent of antitumour necrosis factor alfa (TNF-α) biosimilars resulted in considerable cost-savings and increased patients’ access to these drugs. After having completed registration trials in rheumatic diseases [1, 2], the infliximab biosimilar CT P13 obtained approval based on a comprehensive comparability exercise, for all other indications, including IBD. Accordingly, physicians started to increasingly prescribe biosimilars for patients with IBD – including those that were both anti-TNF-α naïve and experienced. There is growing evidence that early introduction of biological therapy in IBD is associated with more favourable outcomes in the medium to long term. Keeping that in mind, it follows that the advent of biosimilars has the potential to allow more patients to have access to biological therapy at an earlier stage of disease, which could contribute to prevent disease progression and damage accumulation, with a consequential improvement in patients’ quality of life.

Different approaches to the interchangeability of biosimilars

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 05/03/2021

The interchangeability of biosimilars can sometimes be an emotive subject. Despite reservations by prescribers, payers and patients, many countries have implemented policies allowing for the substitution of biologicals with biosimilars. However, there is still a lack of harmonization around the world when it comes to how different countries or regions approach the interchangeability of biosimilars [1].

Efficacy and safety of interferon beta-1a (ReciGen) in COVID-19

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 05/03/2021

Since COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, emerged as a worldwide concern and was declared a pandemic, finding a safe and effective treatment for this disease has been a top priority. Different treatment candidates, including interferon [1], remdesevir [2], tocilizumab [3], and dexamethasone [4] have been investigated in multiple clinical trials.

Collaboration between regulatory authorities for biosimilars

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 26/02/2021

A survey carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019‒2020 highlighted the need for collaboration between regulatory authorities in order to expediate the approval of biosimilars [1].

Improving biosimilar use in clinical practice

Biosimilars/Research | Posted 26/02/2021

Uncertainty about biosimilars and lack of motivation among healthcare providers and patients to use them may have been curbing biosimilar use. Guidance on how to implement biosimilars in clinical practice and how to incentivize stakeholders to use biosimilars may help to realize the benefits offered by biosimilars for healthcare systems and patients.