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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].

Real-life results for Inflectra compared to Remicade

Results of a post-marketing clinical study of infliximab biosimilar Inflectra demonstrated equivalent effectiveness compared to the originator biological (Remicade) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis when switched from Remicade [1].

Biosimilars in the US

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the country’s first biosimilar Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz) on 6 March 2015 [1]. But how will biosimilars be classified in the future and how will savings for biosimilars be realized in the US? These are questions Sarpatwari and co-authors sought to answer [2].

Remsima shows comparable safety and efficacy in IBD patients

South Korean biotechnology company Celltrion presented results of clinical experience for its infliximab biosimilar Remsima (CT-P13) at Digestive Diseases Week (DDW) 2015, which was held in Washington DC, USA, on 17–19 May 2015.

Inflectra shows comparable results in IBD patients

US-based generics maker Hospira presented preliminary results from its Hungarian National Registry study for its infliximab biosimilar Inflectra at the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (ECCO-ibd) conference, which was held in Barcelona, Spain on 18–21 February 2015.

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