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‘Similar biologics’ approved and marketed in India

Last update: 2 October 2015

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].

Biosimilars of bevacizumab

Last update: 2 October 2015

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.

Dutch medicines agency aims to clarify biosimilars confusion

The Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) has further clarified its position on biosimilars since its last update in March 2015. The MEB had previously raised concerns among patient groups and professional organizations with the announcement that biosimilars had no relevant differences to originators.

Biosimilars applications under review by EMA – August 2015

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 approved in South Korea

Last update: 18 September 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.

Biosimilars of etanercept

Last update: 18 September 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.

Comments on FDA’s guidance on naming biologicals

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance on the non-proprietary naming of biological products on 27 August 2015 [1], but not everyone is happy with the proposals made by the agency.

Biosimilars approved in Australia

Last update: 28 August 2015

In Australia, the legal framework for approving medicines was established via the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

Australian approval for infliximab biosimilar

South Korean biotechnology company Celltrion announced on 10 August 2015 that its partner Hospira had gained approval from Australia’s drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), for the infliximab biosimilar Inflectra.

Biosimilars approved in the US

Last update: 14 August 2015

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).

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