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Research

Non-clinical study shows similarity of biosimilar etanercept

The results of a non-clinical study of a candidate biosimilar etanercept (GP2015) has shown the similarity, with respect to in vitro and in vivo characteristics, of the biosimilar (GP2015) and its reference product, Amgen’s blockbuster autoimmune disease treatment Enbrel (etanercept).

Assessing structural comparability using NMR

Several biologicals will lose patent protection within the next few years, opening up the market for biosimilars [1]. According to US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines, biosimilar applicants should demonstrate biosimilarity using a stepwise approach, which includes structural and functional characterization, animal toxicity, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, immunogenicity, and clinical safety and effectiveness [2]. FDA expects extensive characterization of the proposed biosimilar and the reference product using state-of-the-art analytical technology including analysis of the protein (primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary structure as well as post-translational modifications).

Biosimilars and treatment of IBD in Italy

In February 2015, the patent for infliximab expired in Italy.  Now, biosimilar CT-P13 products (Remsima and Inflectra), the first monoclonal antibody biosimilar of infliximab, are on the Italian market. In their recent paper, Annese et al. [1], assessed gastroenterologist’s view of the use of CT-P13 for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Italy. 

What makes physicians consider patients suitable for biosimilar infliximab

Prescribing physicians play an important role in the adoption of biosimilars in rheumatic diseases. Assessing physician perception of patients they consider as suitable for biosimilars may provide insights into eventual biosimilar adoption in clinical practice settings as well as any physician educational needs.

What internists should know about biologicals and biosimilars

Authors from the IRCCS Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy discuss some of the most frequent concerns raised by internists about biosimilars [1].

Positive phase III results for adalimumab and trastuzumab biosimilars

Phase III studies of an adalimumab biosimilar from Momenta Pharmaceuticals (Momenta) and a trastuzumab biosimilar from Pfizer have, according to the companies, shown that the biosimilars are ‘equivalent’ compared to their respective originator biologicals.

Assessing analytical comparability for G-CSF biosimilars

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a biosimilar is a biological product shown to be ‘highly similar to an FDA-approved biological product’, and which ‘has no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety and effectiveness’. Only minor differences in clinically inactive components are allowable in biosimilars. Biosimilars of approved biologicals at the end of their patent life are expected to cost less but be as safe and effective for licensed clinical uses. To date, FDA has approved four biosimilars [1], while the European Union has approved more than 20 biosimilars [2].

Effectiveness of ESAs in treating anaemia in kidney disease and cancer patients

Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) are biological analogues of human erythropoietin used for the treatment of anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and chemotherapy treatment in cancer patients [1]. ESA biosimilars have been available on the Italian market since 2007. However, only limited post-marketing data exist on the comparative effectiveness of biosimilar and originator ESAs in routine care.

Clinical and regulatory issues for biosimilars

As the first biosimilars are being approved in the US, there are a number of clinical and regulatory issues that must be considered for the safe and appropriate utilization of these products within the health system [1]. Biosimilars provide the opportunity to lower cost and improve access to important biological treatments. However, their success will depend largely on their acceptance by clinicians, payers and patients.

A multidisciplinary perspective on biosimilars

A biosimilar is an officially regulated and approved copy of an originator biological therapy. Authors Khraishi et al. aimed to provide a comprehensive review of the biosimilar development process and multidisciplinary guidance on their potential therapeutic utility in clinical practice [1]. They discussed clinical developments in the introduction of biosimilars across the expert disciplines of gastroenterology, nephrology, oncology and rheumatology, and from a payer perspective. They highlight a common need for ongoing pharmacovigilance, robust head-to-head clinical studies, and real-world data to establish the long-term risk-benefit profile of biosimilars.