The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) announced on 24 June 2022 that it had recommended granting marketing authorization for the bevacizumab biosimilar Vegzelma.
The antitumour necrosis factor alpha (anti-TNF‑a) monoclonal antibody adalimumab is used to treat a variety of chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. The biosimilar MSB11022 (Idacio/Kromeya) has demonstrated physicochemical and functional similarity to reference adalimumab (Humira) in the preclinical setting. Further study in the clinical setting has established equivalent pharmacokinetics (PK) and efficacy, and comparable safety and immunogenicity for MSB11022 versus adalimumab. MSB11022 is available in three delivery formats: pre-filled syringe, vial and autoinjector. Offering a choice of devices can address patient needs and potentially improve adherence to therapy. Self-injection via pre-filled syringes may be challenging for some patients, due to issues such as needle phobia, pain-related concerns and arthritis hand pain making self-injection more difficult. The availability of alternative self-injection devices allows patients to select a device that suits their needs.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recognizes the potential societal value of biosimilars for improving care of patients with eye disease. Biosimilars should have sufficient research demonstrating their safety and effectiveness for treatment of eye disease. In January 2022, the AAO issued a policy statement on the biosimilars in ophthalmologic use .
There are no consistent trends in biosimilar uptake by order of market entry, care setting, or pricing, finds a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine . In addition, biosimilar uptake is generally lower than that reported for generic drugs in the US.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the pegfilgrastim biosimilar Fylnetra (pegfilgrastim-pbbk) and the rituximab biosimilar Riabni (rituximab-arrx).
By the end of 2021, biosimilar antibodies of rituximab, trastuzumab, infliximab, adalimumab and bevacizumab were expected to be commercialized in Latin America with 25 different brand names.
Biogen and Samsung Bioepis have launched Byooviz (ranibizumab-nuna) on the US market as the first ophthalmology biosimilar. It references Roche’s (Genentech’s) blockbuster therapy, Lucentis.
The availability of insulin for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, a chronic disease that increases with age, and its financial sustainability are of general concerns, especially for universal healthcare systems, such as the Brazilian Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde, SUS) . This is why similar biotherapeutic products (produtos bioterapêuticos similares, SBP) can be a cost reduction strategy in improving access to essential supplies for the population. These drugs demand less investment and acquisition cost .
This article describes the current situation of biosimilar monoclonal antibodies in 10 countries of Latin America and their potential to reduce the cost of antibody therapies.
Diverse policies have been implemented across Europe to support the rational prescribing of biologicals. Policies limiting the reimbursement of high-cost pharmaceuticals and applying prescription quotas for ‘best-value’ biologicals (BVB) have often been combined with educational campaigns about biosimilars and with benefit-sharing (gainsharing) initiatives [1, 2].