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Biosimilars: the benefits need to be communicated

Extrapolation may be the most contentious issue of biosimilar development, but it is also its single greatest benefit, says Dr Martina Weise of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices in Germany.

Biosimilars: clinicians and regulators need to talk

In Europe, there is a clear gap between the regulatory decisions that govern biosimilar approval and the recommendations of medical societies. The fact that the views of medical societies, whose members are the physicians that will prescribe biosimilars, disagree with those of regulators, threatens to hold back biosimilar uptake. 

Pure red cell aplasia in a CKD patient after treatment with epoetin zeta

Authors from the Versilia and Manzoni Hospitals in Italy report the case of a patient who developed pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) following subcutaneous administration of epoetin zeta, which is one of the two biosimilars of epoetin alfa licensed in Europe [1].

The economic impact of biosimilars in the US

Biologicals are large molecule compounds used to treat rare or complex diseases. Between 2013 and 2014, spending on specialty drugs, including biologicals, increased 32.4%, while spending on small-molecule drugs increased by just 6.8%. By 2016, eight of the 10 top-selling drugs are expected to be biologicals.

Positive clinical data for three anti-TNF-α biosimilars

Results of studies of three biosimilars from Samsung Bioepis, Benepali (etanercept), Flixabi (infliximab) and candidate biosimilar SB5 (adalimumab), have shown ‘comparable outcomes with regards to both the efficacy and safety of treatment’ when compared to their respective reference products, according to the company [1-3].

Doctors want more details in biosimilars labelling

In the European Union (EU), labels (Summaries of Product Characteristics, SmPCs) for biosimilars and their reference products are, in many instances, almost identical despite different data requirements for the authorization of biosimilars.

Mylan presents comparability data for trastuzumab biosimilar

Generics giant Mylan Pharmaceuticals (Mylan) presented robust data from its biosimilar trastuzumab programme at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting ASCO 2016 held in Chicago, USA on 3–7 June 2016.

Real-world safety data for epoetin alfa biosimilar

A 2-year post-marketing study of the epoetin alfa biosimilar Binocrit has found the biosimilar to be safe in daily clinical practice, according to the authors [1].

Biosimilar rituximab in biological naïve rheumatoid arthritis patients

Cost remains a major constraint in the use of originator biologicals in rheumatology in developing countries, paving the way for ever increasing usage of biosimilars. However, apart from the cost, their efficacy and safety are of tremendous interest to clinicians in both developing and developed worlds.

Insulin biosimilar meets primary endpoint in phase III studies

US pharma giant Merck announced on 13 June 2016 positive results from two phase III studies evaluating its insulin glargine biosimilar (MK-1293).

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