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Research

Rituximab biosimilar safe in advanced follicular lymphoma patients

A study of the rituximab biosimilar CT‑P10 has, according to the authors, ‘demonstrated’ similar pharmacokinetics (PK) and safety when administered in combination with cyclophosphamide, vincristine and prednisone (CVP) in patients with newly diagnosed advanced follicular lymphoma (AFL) [1].

Harmonization of requirements for NBCDs across regions

Efforts are being undertaken to continuously develop and harmonize the regulatory requirements for complex medicinal products across regions. Taking this into account, authors Ehmann and Pita believe the European Union (EU) network is ready for non-biological complex drugs (NBCDs) [1].

US pharmacists’ views on the naming and labelling of biologicals

The Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines (ASBM) has published the results of a survey determining the opinions of US pharmacists about the naming and labelling of biosimilars [1].

Italian study compares epoetin biosimilars and originator biologicals

Recently, extensive discussion on the opportunity offered by biosimilars for the sustainability of the National Health Services has taken place in academic and regulatory contexts. The use of biosimilars continues to be limited, and the scepticism of prescribers and patients seem to be linked to the uncertainty of the risk-benefit profile of biosimilars. In the case of epoetins, used in the management of anaemia in the nephrology and oncology settings, the results of a recent study showed no difference between biosimilars and originators on relevant effectiveness and safety outcomes [1].

Pharmacovigilance of biologicals in Denmark

As a result of the increasing use of biologicals and biosimilars in Denmark, the Ministry of Health (MoH) in partnership with the country’s regulatory agency has set up an action plan to monitor biologicals and improve pharmacovigilance, as well as to improve understanding among healthcare professionals and patients [1].

Filgrastim follow-on biological has similar efficacy and safety in breast cancer patients

A study comparing two filgrastim formulations for controlling chemotherapy-induced neutropenia has reported similar efficacy, safety and non-inferiority of the biosimilar [1].

Marketing authorization for NBCDs in the EU

The regulatory body for approval of medicines in the European Union (EU) is the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The agency is responsible for the scientific evaluation of medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies for use in the EU and this also includes non-biological complex drugs (NBCDs).

The European Pharmacopoeia monographs for biotherapeutic products

European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) monographs for biologicals have existed since the 1990s and remain the publicly available standard defining the quality of these medicines. Continued development of such monographs, however, faces considerable challenges and the value and utility of these monographs have been questioned in recent years. What such challenges are and how they can be overcome is discussed by Head of Division of the European Pharmacopoeia Department at the EDQM, Dr Emmanuelle Charton, in a GaBI Journal paper [1].

Study of top-down infliximab use in children with Crohn’s disease

The Erasmus Medical Center, in collaboration with the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development and biosimilars maker Hospira, now Pfizer, is carrying out a study to investigate the benefits and risks of the use of infliximab as first-line use for children with active perianal fistulising Crohn’s disease [1].

Evidence on biosimilar efficacy and safety leads to ASAS/EULAR recommendation

A study of biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) found no reason for physicians not to prescribe infliximab biosimilars [1].