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Clinical equivalence in oncology biosimilar trials

Researchers from the US propose using restricted mean survival time (RMST) rather than the overall response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS) or overall survival (OS) in clinical trials evaluating the equivalence of biosimilars [1].

Use of biosimilar infliximab gives savings for patients

Canadian researchers carried out a cost-utility analysis of switching from reference to biosimilar infliximab compared to maintaining reference infliximab in adult patients with Crohn’s disease (CD). From this analysis they found that using biosimilar infliximab resulted in cost savings for patients [1].

Patients’ perceptions of switching to biosimilars

A patient’s characteristics make them more likely to have negative perceptions about switching to biosimilars, according to a study by researchers from New Zealand [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).

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].

Positive results for Bio-Thera’s bevacizumab copy biological

China-based Bio-Thera Pharmaceuticals (Bio-Thera) announced positive results from a phase III trial of its bevacizumab copy biological.

How to make biological drugs more affordable

Biological drugs remain unaffordable for many in the US due to strategies used by pharmaceutical companies and negative messaging about biosimilars, explains a recent commentary by Dr Joel Lexchin, School of Health Policy and Management at York University, Canada [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].

Relative bioavailability of FKB327 when administered using different methods

FKB327 is a biosimilar of Humira (adalimumab), a recombinant, human immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibody specific for human tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). The European Medicines Agency approved FKB327, as Hulio, in 2018 [1].

Biosimilars in the age of patient-centricity

In 2020, nearly all pharmaceutical companies claim to be ‘patient-centric’. In fact, some companies have even initiated processes of designing new treatments ‘around the patient’ and convened ‘Patient Advisory Boards’ to ensure patients provide their input into clinical trial design. In addition, though to a lesser extent, some have also developed educational programmes to ensure clinicians and patients truly understand the use and function of biosimilars. Regulators have also participated in the effort to ensure that patients consent to be prescribed biosimilar treatments and are well informed of their relative risks and benefits. President of the French Association of Pharmaceutical Medicine, Dr Francois-Xavier Frapaise, discusses how these latest ‘patient-centric’ efforts affect patients [1].

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