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Research

Assessment of biosimilarity for monoclonal antibodies

How therapeutic monoclonal antibody biosimilars are assessed for biosimilarity, was discussed by authors from the National Institute of Health Sciences and the Yokohama University of Pharmacy in Japan. Their review covers the basic concept of biosimilar development as well as pharmacokinetic data obtained via non-clinical and clinical studies of biosimilar therapeutic antibodies [1].

Positive phase III results for Hisun’s adalimumab copy biological

Positive results were reported from a phase III trial of an adalimumab copy biological, HS016, which compared the candidate adalimumab copy biological HS016 with originator adalimumab Humira for the treatment of active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) [1].

Cost savings from the use of biosimilars in Canada

Analysis of the potential cost savings from the use of three biosimilars (filgrastim, infliximab and insulin glargine) in Canada shows that over CA$1 billion could have been saved in just a two-year period [1].

PK and PD similarity between pegfilgrastim biosimilar and Neulasta

Hexal AG has published phase I results for its approved pegfilgrastim biosimilar [1-3].

Asian specialists' recommendations for off-patent biologicals in IBD

Gastroenterologists from across Asia have published a list of recommendations for the use of biologicals and off-patent biologicals in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Asia [1].

Arguments against Alberta’s plans to switch patients to biosimilars

In May 2019, the Canadian province of British Columbia introduced a policy of switching rheumatology patients to biosimilars [1]. Now, the province of Alberta is also considering plans to stop coverage of originator biologicals and switch patients to biosimilars for certain indications. The new policy, if introduced, will apply to the approximately 30,000 patients in Alberta living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) [2].

Tackling the challenge of safe automatic substitution of biologicals

The costs of biologicals are challenging the sustainability of pharmacotherapy. Affordable biosimilars are expected to trigger competition within the biologicals market. Increasing real-world experience on biosimilars and clinical switching studies have led to position papers supporting the interchangeability of biosimilars with their reference products under the supervision of the prescriber [1]. However, the uptake of biosimilars has been poor in Finland, since physicians have been reluctant to prescribe biosimilars, especially in the outpatient setting. One option to stimulate the uptake of biosimilars is the automatic substitution of biologicals at the pharmacy level.

Efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of adalimumab biosimilar BI 695501

Adalimumab is the most commonly prescribed biological and is approved for rheumatoid arthritis as well as psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, along with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Its patent life terminated in 2016 in the US [1]. However, in the US AbbVie has stated that, although the composition of matter patent covering Humira expired in December 2016, non-composition of matter patents covering Humira expire no earlier than 2022. The company has therefore made settlement agreements with Amgen and Samsung Bioepis, delaying the launch of biosimilars until January 2023 [2, 3].

Reasons and solutions for the high cost of insulin in the US

The most commonly used forms of analogue insulin cost 10 times more in the US than in any other developed country. In fact, the cost of insulin in the country has more than tripled in the past 10 years [1]. This has led to patients rationing their insulin; something that does not happen in other developed countries, but is common in the US.

Achieving fairer prices for generics and biosimilars

Access to safe, effective, quality assured, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all has been identified as key to achieving universal health coverage and financial protection. However, this is not always the case, according to Alessandra Ferrario and colleagues from the Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Institute, Boston, USA [1].