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Non-originator bevacizumab candidate non-inferior to Avastin

Results of a phase III clinical study of Biocad’s non-originator bevacizumab candidate BCD-021 demonstrated ‘equivalence’ compared to the originator biological (Avastin) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) [1].

Positive phase III results for candidate etanercept and infliximab biosimilars

Results of pivotal phase III clinical studies of candidate etanercept biosimilar SB4 and candidate infliximab biosimilar SB2 met their primary endpoints, demonstrating equivalence to the originator biological in patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite methotrexate therapy [1, 2].

Overcoming hurdles to biosimilars cost savings in the US

The US approved its first biosimilar, Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz), on 6 March 2015 [1]. But how can the country overcome hurdles to the cost savings that can be achieved from these drugs? That is a question Sarpatwari and co-authors have tried to answer [2]. 

Phase I results for candidate adalimumab, etanercept and infliximab biosimilars

Results of phase I clinical studies of candidate adalimumab biosimilar SB5, etanercept biosimilar SB4 and infliximab biosimilar SB2, demonstrated equivalence safety profiles to their originator biologicals in healthy subjects [1-3].

Safety of filgrastim biosimilars following stem-cell transplantation

The safety of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF; filgrastim) biosimilars was compared with that of the originator, Neupogen (Amgen), in a retrospective, single-institution study. Simona Bassi and co-authors at the Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital in Piacenza, Italy, analysed data from patients with lymphoma or myeloma who had undergone autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) at the Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital.

Biosimilars in the US: hurdles to cost savings

In light of the recent approval of the first biosimilar in the US, Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz), [1], Sarpatwari and co-authors look at the hurdles to cost savings for biosimilars in the US [2].

Efficacy of filgrastim biosimilars following stem-cell transplantation

The efficacy of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF; filgrastim) biosimilars has been assessed in terms of engraftment following stem-cell transplantation. Time to engraftment was compared following treatment with the originator, Neupogen (Amgen), and with biosimilars in a retrospective, single-institution study.

Approval of biosimilar insulins: regulations across the globe

Insulin analogue patent expiry is likely to mean that biosimilars will be submitted for licensing. In light of this, Heinemann and co-authors reviewed regulatory requirements for biosimilars, notably insulin, in several regions and countries [1].

Norway, biosimilars in different funding systems

Norway has approved biosimilar versions of the biologicals somatropin, epoetin, filgrastim and infliximab. Epoetin and filgrastim are included in a national tender for drugs used in hospitals, in which prices can be reduced by up to 89%. Regional health care is responsible for funding drugs used in hospitals and at home, and it is their responsibility for obtaining the best prices. The H-prescription system in Norway works best to maximize biosimilar competition, as exemplified by the approach taken for infliximab. However, the effect of existing biosimilars on prescriptions has varied [1].

Approval of biosimilars in rheumatology

Biosimilars are approved following a regulatory pathway different to that of generics, as they are not molecularly identical to their reference products. Currently, only one biosimilar is approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of rheumatological diseases: an infliximab biosimilar, which is commercialized as Remsima/Inflectra [1]. With this approval in mind, author Gilberto Castañeda-Hernández and co-authors discuss what rheumatologists should know about biosimilars [2].

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