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Biosimilar naming in the US, the debate continues

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has called on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reconsider its draft guidance Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products: Guidance for Industry.

Biologicals patent expiries

Biosimilars are now a reality. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved its first biosimilar back in 2006 [1] and, with the increasing price of new biologicals and continuing pressure on healthcare budgets, biosimilars are expected to make up an increasing share of the biologicals market.

Biosimilars of adalimumab

Last update: 13 November 2015

Adalimumab is a human monoclonal antibody that treats autoimmune diseases by inhibiting tumour necrosis factor (TNF); a soluble inflammatory cytokine. Adalimumab binds to TNF-alpha (TNFα), preventing it from activating TNF receptors, which cause the inflammatory reactions associated with autoimmune diseases. Adalimumab is indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid, juvenile idiopathic and psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis.

Biosimilars of trastuzumab

Last update: 6 November 2015

Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that interferes with the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)/neu receptor. In some cancers, notably certain types of breast cancer, HER2 is over-expressed, and causes cancer cells to reproduce uncontrollably. Trastuzumab is therefore used to treat certain breast cancers.

Australia’s DoH seeks feedback on biosimilars awareness project

Australia’s Department of Health (DoH) wants to improve awareness and confidence in biosimilars in the community and among healthcare professionals, including pharmacists and prescribers. To do this the DoH has developed an implementation framework, for which it is seeking feedback.

Biosimilars of ranibizumab

Ranibizumab is a monoclonal antibody fragment created from the same parent mouse antibody as bevacizumab. Ranibizumab inhibits angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), a mechanism similar to bevacizumab [1].

Biosimilars of rituximab

Last update: 30 October 2015

Rituximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the protein CD20, which is primarily found on the surface of immune system B cells. Rituximab destroys B cells and is therefore used to treat diseases that are characterized by excessive number of B cells, overactive B cells or dysfunctional B cells. This includes many lymphomas, leukaemias, transplant rejection and autoimmune disorders.

Call for compulsory license for biosimilar trastuzumab emtansine

A pressure group, which includes both patients and doctors, has called for the UK Government to overturn patents on Roche’s breast cancer treatment Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine).

Biosimilars of pegfilgrastim

Last update: 23 October 2015

Pegfilgrastim is a PEGylated form of the recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) analogue filgrastim. It serves to stimulate the level of white blood cells (neutrophils) [1]. Pegfilgrastim treatment can be used to stimulate bone marrow to produce more neutrophils (white blood cells) to fight infection in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Biosimilars of infliximab

Last update: 16 October 2015

Infliximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody against tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). It is used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.

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