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Arguments for same INN for biosimilars presented at WHO meeting

The World Health Organization recently held its 60th Consultation on International Nonproprietary Names (INN) for Pharmaceutical Substances. At the meeting the issue of naming of biologicals, including biosimilars was once again discussed.

Dutch medicines agency says biosimilars ‘have no relevant differences’ to originators

The Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) has updated its position on biosimilars, stating that ‘biosimilars have been proven to have no relevant differences compared to an innovator biological medicinal product as far as quality, safety and efficacy are concerned’.

Biosimilars approved in South Korea

Last update: 10 April 2015

In South Korea, the regulatory body for the approval of medicines, including biologicals and biosimilars, is the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), formerly the Korean Food and Drug Administration.

Rheumatologists want to evaluate long-term safety of biosimilars

One of the biggest challenges for biosimilar companies is to convince physicians to use biosimilars instead of their well-known biological counterparts. One of the issues that physicians see as a concern is the long-term safety of biosimilars, a concern that is thought could slow down the adoption of biosimilars. This issue has even prompted certain organizations to embark on programmes that seek to provide definitive evidence on the issue.

Biosimilars of filgrastim

Filgrastim is a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Filgrastim treatment can be used to stimulate the bone marrow to produce more neutrophils (white blood cells) to fight infection in patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Biosimilars of darbepoetin alfa

Last update: 20 March 2015

Darbepoetin alfa is a synthetic form of erythropoietin. It stimulates erythropoiesis (increases red blood cell levels) and is used to treat anaemia, commonly associated with chronic renal failure and cancer chemotherapy.

Biosimilars of etanercept

Last update: 20 March 2015

Etanercept is a biological drug that treats autoimmune diseases by inhibiting tumour necrosis factor (TNF); a soluble inflammatory cytokine. Etanercept is indicated for the treatment of rheumatoid, juvenile rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis and ankylosing spondylitis.

Huge discount on biosimilar infliximab in Norway

Norway’s price regulator has been offered a discount of 72% for biosimilar infliximab in the country’s latest tender for drugs.

What happened in biosimilars during 2014

Many new developments have taken place in the biosimilars industry in 2014 [1]. One of the most important milestones during 2014 was the news that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had accepted several biosimilars applications, and had even recommended the approval of Sandoz’s filgrastim biosimilar in all five indications of the originator product (Neupogen).

Biosimilars of rituximab

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.

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