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General

Biosimilars of rituximab

Last update: 20 July 2018

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.

US pharmacies sue J&J for stifling infliximab biosimilars

Two major US pharmacy chains, Walgreen and Kroger, have sued healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in the US District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The pharmacies allege that J&J prevented insurers from covering biosimilars of its blockbuster immunology drug Remicade (infliximab).

Biosimilars applications under review by EMA – June 2018

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.

Biosimilar infliximab blocked in Australia

Switzerland-based drug giant F. Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) has gained a temporary order in an Australian Federal Court blocking Sandoz from launching its rituximab biosimilar.

AbbVie and Samsung Bioepis reach patent deal over Humira biosimilar

Biosimilars maker Samsung Bioepis announced on 5 April 2018 that it had reached a ‘global resolution’ with pharma giant AbbVie ending all patent litigation regarding AbbVie’s blockbuster arthritis drug Humira (adalimumab).

Spanish associations sign biosimilars collaboration

The Spanish Association of Biosimilar Medicines (BioSim) announced on 21 March 2018 that BioSim and the Federation of Spanish Medical Scientific Associations (FACME) have signed a collaboration agreement that includes the creation of a joint working group to share up-to-date information on biosimilars.

Biosimilars approved in South Korea

Last update: 22 June 2018

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.

WuXi Biologics expands its biologicals manufacturing facilities

China-based WuXi Biologics, headquartered in Wuxi city of Jiangsu Province, is expanding its biologicals manufacturing capacity with new facilities planned in Ireland, China, Singapore and the US.

Biosimilars highlights for 2017

There are many product launches and various topics such as naming, extrapolation, interchangeability and switching of biosimilars in 2017 [1]. Important milestones achieved during 2017 were the biosimilar approvals of Renflexis (infliximab-abda), Cyltezo (adalimumab-adbm), Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb), Ixifi (infliximab‑qbtx), and Ogivri (trastuzumab-dkst), along with the approval of follow-on insulin lispro biological Admelog, by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Biosimilars of cetuximab

Last Update: 13 April 2018

Cetuximab is a chimeric (mouse/human) monoclonal antibody. It inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and is used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and head and neck cancer.