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WHO should finalize its BQ guidance

According to authors from the US, the World Health Organization (WHO) should finalize its Biological Qualifier (BQ) guidance. Distinguishable naming will allow quick and accurate tracing of the manufacturer of biologicals, should adverse events occur and improve patient safety by reducing confusion and mishaps. This will ensure that developing nations, including those in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, have access to high quality, affordable medicines [1].

British diabetologists issues position statement on biosimilar insulin

The Association of British Clinical Diabetologists (ABCD) has issued a position statement on the use of biosimilar insulin. The statement summarises information on the advantages and disadvantages of using biosimilar insulins and gives the association’s position on when biosimilar insulins be used [1].

Biosimilars applications under review by EMA – January 2019

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.

Boehringer Ingelheim and Sandoz abandon biosimilars

Boehringer Ingelheim has decided to abandon biosimilars outside the US. While Sandoz has decided not to pursue biosimilar rituximab in the US.

Merck gains US infliximab contract but drops insulin glargine biosimilar

US pharma giant Merck (known as MSD outside the US and Canada) has signed a deal with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for its infliximab biosimilar, Renflexis. However, it is pulling out of a deal for insulin glargine biosimilar Lusduna.

Originator biologicals and biosimilars under attack in UK and Japan

Originator biologicals makers and biosimilars makers are finding themselves facing litigation in both the UK and Japan.

Biosimilars of trastuzumab

Last update: 6 July 2018

Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that interferes with the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)/neu receptor. In some cancers, notably certain types of breast cancer, HER2 is over-expressed, and causes cancer cells to reproduce uncontrollably. Trastuzumab is therefore used to treat certain breast cancers.

Comments on FDA’s public meeting on biosimilars

Comments made at the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent meeting on biosimilars included a call for interchangeability information in the Purple Book, criticism of FDA’s use of arbitrary suffixes and a request to waive bridging studies for biosimilars.

Biocon’s biosimilars plant gains clearance from FDA

India-based biologicals specialist Biocon has stated that its biosimilars plant has received a clean bill of health, indicating that it is now compliant with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) manufacturing requirements.

Samsung Bioepis sued over trastuzumab biosimilar but win for Celltrion’s biosimilar Inflectra

Roche’s Genentech has sued Samsung Bioepis regarding its trastuzumab biosimilar, but Celltrion has won its patent battle against Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

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