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Biosimilars approved in the US

Last update: 26 May 2017

In the US, a legal framework for approving biosimilars was established in 2009, via the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCI Act).

Biosimilars approved in Europe

Last update: 26 May 2017

In the European Union (EU), a legal framework for approving biosimilars was established in 2003. This framework means that biosimilars can only be approved centrally via the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and not nationally.

Biosimilars applications under review by EMA – April 2017

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is the body responsible for approval of biosimilars within the European Union (EU). A legal framework for approving biosimilars was established in 2003. Approval of biosimilars is based on an abbreviated registration process, which allows biosimilars manufacturers to provide a reduced package of information compared to originator drugs, provided they can prove ‘similarity’ to the originator or reference drug.

Biosimilars of teriparatide

Last update: 9 May 2017

Teriparatide is a recombinant form of parathyroid hormone (PTH). Teriparatide is identical to a portion of human PTH and intermittent use activates osteoblasts more than osteoclasts, which leads to an overall increase in bone. This makes it an effective anabolic, i.e. bone growing, agent. It is therefore used for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women and men at high risk for fracture and for glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis in men and postmenopausal women.

WHO to launch prequalification programme for biosimilars

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on 4 May 2017 that it would launch a pilot project for prequalifying biosimilars. This move says the organization, is a ‘step towards making some of the most expensive treatments for cancer more widely available in low- and middle-income countries’.

Biosimilars of ranibizumab

Last update: 12 May 2017

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 epoetin alfa

Last update: 12 May 2017

Epoetin alfa is a human erythropoietin produced in cell culture using recombinant DNA technology. It stimulates erythropoiesis (increases red blood cell levels) and is used to treat anaemia, commonly associated with chronic renal failure and cancer chemotherapy.

Fujifilm ramps up biosimilars production as UK court allows Humira biosimilar

A UK court has ruled in the favour of Japan-based Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics’ Humira biosimilar. The Fujifilm corporation has also announced a multi-million-dollar investment in its biologicals production facilities in the US.

Biosimilars of etanercept

Last update: 28 April 2017

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.

Biosimilars of abatacept

Last update: 28 April 2017

Abatacept is a modified antibody biological drug used to treat autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, by interfering with the function of particular cells (T-cells) in the immune system. This action modifies the inflammation and immune activity which cause the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

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