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32 organizations agree biosimilars should have same names

On 1 July 2014, 32 organizations signed a letter calling on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require biologicals and biosimilars to have the same International Nonproprietary Name (INN).

Biosimilars approved in Europe

Last update: 4 July 2014 

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.

ECCO position statement on biosimilars

The European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) is a non-profit association with the aim of improving the care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Europe. The association currently includes 2,519 individual experts, 33 country members and 17 corporate members.

Biosimilars of etanercept

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 epoetin alfa

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.

‘Similar biologics’ approved and marketed in India

Last update: 20 June 2014

There have been established guidelines for approving generic versions of small molecule chemical drugs in India for some time already. However, no specific guidelines for ‘similar biologics’, as the Indian regulatory authorities call these products, have existed in India until recently. This has been the case despite the fact that the requirements for granting regulatory approval for such ‘similar biologics’ required more data than for a simple generic drug application [1].

Top 8 blockbuster biologicals 2013

The top three best-selling drugs during 2013 were biologicals. All three best-sellers are indicated for the treatment of arthritis, and include Abbott’s Humira (adalimumab), Merck’s Remicade (infliximab) and Roche’s Rituxan/MabThera (rituximab).

ABPI issues updated position paper on biosimilars

On 14 May 2014, the association that represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies in the UK, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), issued the third edition of its position paper on biosimilars.

Biosimilars of bevacizumab

Bevacizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody. It inhibits angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) by blocking the action of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A). Bevacizumab can therefore slow the growth of new blood vessels in tumours and is used to treat various cancers, including colorectal, lung, breast, glioblastoma, kidney and ovarian.

Biosimilars on the horizon

Europe approved its first monoclonal antibody biosimilar, Inflectra/Remsima (infliximab), in September 2013 [1]. But how does the pipeline look for biosimilars and what will be the next biosimilar to be approved?

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