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Use of G-CSF biosimilars for reduction of fever

The American Society of Hematology, the British Society of Haematology, the European Society of Hematology and the European Group of Bone Marrow Transplantation all recommend the use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) after transplant in order to reduce the time to neutrophil recovery and the number of days with fever.

Positive post-marketing data for biosimilar epoetin

Injectable generics specialist, Hospira, presented results from a post-marketing study of the company’s European biosimilar epoetin (Retacrit) on 3 June 2013 at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held in Chicago, USA.

Use of G-CSF biosimilars for stem cell mobilization in autologous transplantation

The first biosimilar granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) was licensed by EMA in 2008, and there are currently six biosimilar G-CSF products licensed for use in the EU [1]. All of these biosimilars are also approved for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Biopharmaceutical products in Iran

Iran will become a leader in biotechnology products (especially copied biopharmaceuticals [1]) in Asia over the next three years, according to a review by Mahboudi et al. [2].

Use of G-CSF biosimilars for stem cell mobilization in healthy donors

Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) can be used to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) in healthy donors. Over the last 10 years, the procedure has become the preferred option for donors compared to the donation of bone marrow.

Saving money in the European healthcare system with biosimilars

Biotechnology-derived medicines are increasingly popular for treating a range of conditions from cancer to autoimmunity, and yet they are among the most expensive healthcare products owing to their manufacture using live cell cultures. As healthcare providers become increasingly concerned about rising costs, interest is turning to the idea of substituting reference biological drugs with cheaper but similar biological products, or biosimilars, after patents expire on reference products. The use of biosimilars has the potential to reduce healthcare expenditure, particularly for long-term treatments, which incur high annual treatment costs.

Development of biosimilars for rheumatology

In 2012, worldwide sales for the top three selling tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors reached US$20 billion. These biological treatments for arthritis are costing patients between US$10,000–US$30,000 per year making the need for lower cost biosimilars clear [1].

Efficacy, extrapolation and interchangeability of biosimilars

Biosimilars have been available in Europe for more than seven years; despite this fact, physicians still have concerns about the use of biosimilars. Some of their concerns have been discussed by members and experts of the Working Party on Similar Biologic Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) [1].

Research on clinical trial issues for biosimilars

Period: September to December 2012 

In order to demonstrate comparability between a biosimilar and its reference product, EMA recommends that the clinical trial should make it possible to detect a difference between the biosimilar and reference product. In most cases, this means that a two-arm clinical trial design (reference biological and biosimilar) in a small group of homogenous patients may be used. If the two arms of the trial produce similar results, then the biosimilar can be approved.

Quality, similarity and safety of biosimilars

An abbreviated pathway for the approval of biosimilars was implemented in the EU in 2005. Despite biosimilars being available in Europe for more than seven years, physicians still have concerns about the use of biosimilars. Members and experts of the Working Party on Similar Biologic Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) highlight what physicians need to know to make informed and appropriate treatment choices for their patients [1].

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