Will bevacizumab biosimilars impact the value of systemic therapy in gynecologic cancers?
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Bevacizumab is an important component in the treatment of various cancers, and despite guidelines recommending its use in both ovarian and cervical cancer, patient access to bevacizumab and other angiogenesis inhibitors is limited. Biosimilars are large, structurally complex molecules that are intended to be highly similar to, and treat the same condition(s) as, an existing licensed or approved (reference) biologic, with no clinically meaningful differences in purity, potency and safety. This article summarizes the role of bevacizumab in the treatment paradigm of ovarian and cervical cancer. We also discuss the potential role of biosimilars to bevacizumab, which may offer more affordable options in the future treatment of gynecologic cancers. METHODS:Literature searches of PubMed and ClinicalTrials.gov databases were conducted. Regulatory and individual pharmaceutical company web pages were also reviewed. Search terms included "biosimilar" and "bevacizumab," and these were used to identify information regarding biosimilar development, reporting results of biosimilar studies or biosimilars in development. RESULTS:At present, four bevacizumab biosimilar candidates are undergoing comparative clinical assessment, with the potential to increase access and offer efficiencies across healthcare systems. CONCLUSIONS:It is anticipated that biologics such as bevacizumab will continue to play a key role in the treatment of an array of gynecologic cancers. Biosimilars to bevacizumab are currently in development and have the potential to increase access to medicines in a variety of settings, including gynecologic cancers.
Project description:Access to bevacizumab, an important component of oncology treatment regimens, may be limited. This survey of oncologists in the US (n = 150), Europe (n = 230), and emerging markets (EM: Brazil, Mexico, and Turkey; n = 130) examined use of and barriers to accessing bevacizumab as treatment of advanced solid tumors. We also assessed the likelihood that physicians would prescribe a bevacizumab biosimilar, if available. Bevacizumab was frequently used as early-line therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer, metastatic non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer, and metastatic ovarian cancer (all markets), and as a second-line therapy in glioblastoma multiforme (US, EM). A greater percentage of EM-based physicians cited access-related issues as a barrier to prescribing bevacizumab versus US and EU physicians. Lack of reimbursement and high out-of-pocket costs were cited as predominant barriers to prescribing and common reasons for reducing the number of planned cycles. Overall, ~50% of physicians reported they "definitely" or "probably" would prescribe a bevacizumab biosimilar, if available. Efficacy and safety data in specific tumor types and lower cost were factors cited that would increase likelihood to prescribe a bevacizumab biosimilar. A lower cost bevacizumab biosimilar could address the unmet needs of patients and physicians worldwide, and may have the greatest impact on patient outcomes in EM.
Project description:Biologic treatments for cancer continue to place a significant economic burden on healthcare stakeholders. Biosimilar therapies may help reduce this burden through cost savings, thereby increasing patient access.The purpose of this study was to collate all published data to assess the weight of available evidence (quantity and quality) for proposed monoclonal antibody biosimilars and intended copies, for the treatment of cancer.MEDLINE®, Embase®, and ISI Web of Science® databases were searched to September 2015. Conference proceedings (17) were searched (2012 to July 2015). Searches of the United States National Library of Medicine ClinicalTrials.gov registry were also conducted. Risk of bias assessments were undertaken to assess data strength and validity.Proposed biosimilars were identified in 23 studies (36 publications) in oncology and ten studies in 14 publications in oncology and chronic inflammatory diseases for bevacizumab, rituximab, and trastuzumab originators. Based on our review of the included published studies, and as inferred from the conclusions of study authors, the identified proposed biosimilars exhibit close similarity to their originators. Published data were also retrieved on intended copies of rituximab. It remains unclear what role these agents may have, as publications on rigorous clinical studies are lacking for these molecules.While biosimilar products have the potential to improve patient access to important biologic therapies, robust evidence of outcomes for monoclonal antibody biosimilars in treating cancer patients, including data from comparative efficacy and safety trials, is not yet available in the published literature. Significant data gaps exist, particularly for intended copies, which reinforces the need to maintain a clear differentiation between these molecules and true biosimilars. As more biosimilars become available for use, it will be important for stakeholders to understand fully the robustness of overall evidence used to demonstrate biosimilarity and gain regulatory approval.
Project description:Biological therapies have revolutionized the treatment of several cancers and systemic immune-mediated inflammatory conditions. Expiry of patents protecting a number of biologics has provided the opportunity to commercialize highly similar versions, known as biosimilars. Biosimilars are approved by regulatory agencies via an independent pathway that requires extensive head-to-head comparison with the originator product. Biosimilars have the potential to provide savings to healthcare systems and expand patient access to biologics. In Latin American countries, regulatory frameworks for biosimilar approval have been introduced in recent years, and biosimilars of monoclonal antibody and fusion protein therapies are now emerging. However, the situation in this region is complicated by the presence of "non-comparable biotherapeutics" (also known as "intended copies"), which have not been rigorously compared with the originator product. We review the considerations for clinicians in Latin American countries, focusing on monoclonal antibody biosimilars relevant to oncology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, and dermatology.
Project description:Biologics have transformed the treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Biosimilars-biologic medicines with no clinically meaningful differences in safety or efficacy from licensed originators-can stimulate market competition and have the potential to expand patient access to biologics within the parameters of treatment recommendations. However, maximizing the benefits of biosimilars requires cooperation between multiple stakeholders. Regulators and developers should collaborate to ensure biosimilars reach patients rapidly without compromising stringent quality, safety, or efficacy standards. Pharmacoeconomic evaluations and payer policies should be updated following biosimilar market entry, minimizing the risk of imposing nonmedical barriers to biologic treatment. In RA, disparities between treatment guidelines and national reimbursement criteria could be addressed to ensure more uniform patient access to biologics and enable rheumatologists to effectively implement treat-to-target strategies. In IBD, the cost-effectiveness of biologic treatment earlier in the disease course is likely to improve when biosimilars are incorporated into pharmacoeconomic analyses. Patient understanding of biosimilars is crucial for treatment success and avoiding nocebo effects. Full understanding of biosimilars by physicians and carefully considered communication strategies can help support patients initiating or switching to biosimilars. Developers must operate efficiently to be sustainable, without undermining product quality, the reliability of the supply chain, or pharmacovigilance. Developers should also facilitate information sharing to meet the needs of other stakeholders. Such collaboration will help to ensure a sustainable future for both the biosimilar market and healthcare systems, supporting the availability of effective treatments for patients.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>We sought to evaluate perceptions of biosimilar products among US rheumatologists who prescribe TNF-? inhibitors, given that 10 TNF-? inhibitor biosimilars and two rituximab biosimilars have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.<h4>Methods</h4>A 19-question self-administered online survey was conducted from 6 May to 1 June 2019, and fielded by WebMD, LLC. Rheumatologists (n?=?9050) who were members of Medscape.com and its partner panels were invited to participate. Likert and other rating scales were used to collect responses, which were summarized descriptively.<h4>Results</h4>Responses were obtained from 320 board-certified US rheumatologists, 85% of whom were fellows of the ACR. Nearly all respondents were familiar with the FDA definition of a biosimilar product and were aware that an infliximab biosimilar was FDA approved; fewer realized that adalimumab, etanercept and rituximab biosimilars were also FDA approved. Most respondents (84%) were aware that an approved biosimilar was not automatically deemed interchangeable by the FDA. Rheumatologists were more likely to initiate biosimilar treatment for a biologic treatment-naïve patient with RA (73%) than they were to switch to the biosimilar for a patient with RA doing well on the reference product (35%).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results of this survey suggest that US rheumatologists have a good understanding and acceptance of biosimilar products, particularly for the initiation of treatment in biologic-naïve individuals. They were hesitant to switch from a reference product to a biosimilar for a patient doing well on the reference product. Additional education on biosimilars is required to help inform treatment decisions by rheumatologists. A plain language summary of this article has been uploaded as supplementary material, available at Rheumatology online.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite the benefits offered by biosimilars in terms of cost savings and improved patient access to biological therapies, and an established regulatory pathway in Europe, biosimilar adoption is challenged by a lack of knowledge and understanding among stakeholders such as healthcare professionals and patients about biosimilars, impacting their trust and willingness to use them. In addition, stakeholders are faced with questions about clinical implementation aspects such as switching. OBJECTIVE:This study aims to provide recommendations on how to improve biosimilar understanding and adoption among stakeholders based on insights of healthcare professionals (physicians, hospital pharmacists, nurses), patient(s) (representatives) and regulators across Europe. METHOD:The study consists of a structured literature review gathering original research data on stakeholder knowledge about biosimilars, followed by semi-structured interviews across five stakeholder groups including physicians, hospital pharmacists, nurses, patient(s) (representatives) and regulators across Europe. RESULTS:Although improvement in knowledge was observed over time, generally low to moderate levels of awareness, knowledge and trust towards biosimilars among healthcare professionals and patients are identified in literature (N studies = 106). Based on the provided insights from interviews with European experts (N = 44), a number of challenges regarding biosimilar stakeholder understanding are identified, including a lack of practical information about biosimilars and their use, a lack of understanding about biosimilar concepts and a lack of knowledge about biologicals in general. Misinformation by originator industry is also believed to have impacted stakeholder trust. In terms of possible solutions and actions to improve stakeholder understanding, broad support exists to (1) organize initiatives focussed on explaining the rationale behind biosimilar concepts and the approval pathway, (2) invest in education about biologicals in general, (3) develop clear and one-voice regulatory guidance about biosimilar interchangeability and switching across Europe, (4) disseminate real-world clinical biosimilar (switch) data, (5) share biosimilar experiences by key opinion leaders and among peers, (6) provide practical biosimilar product information, (7) provide guidance about biosimilar use, (8) actively counterbalance misinformation and organize information initiatives by neutral entities, (9) organize multi-stakeholder informational and educational efforts, aligning information between involved stakeholder groups and (10) design initiatives in a way that ensures active information uptake. Furthermore, interviewees argue that governments should be proactive in these regards. CONCLUSIONS:This study argues in favour of a structural, multi-stakeholder framework at both European and national level to improve stakeholder biosimilar understanding and acceptance. It proposes a number of actionable recommendations that can inform policy making and guide stakeholders, which can contribute to realizing healthcare system benefits offered by biosimilar competition.
Project description:Biosimilars are protein products that are sufficiently similar to a biopharmaceutical already approved by a regulatory agency. Several biotechnology companies and generic drug manufacturers in Asia and Europe are developing biosimilars of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors and rituximab. A biosimilar etanercept is already being marketed in Colombia and China. In the US, several natural source products and recombinant proteins have been approved as generic drugs under Section 505(b)(2) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. However, because the complexity of large biopharmaceuticals makes it difficult to demonstrate that a biosimilar is structurally identical to an already approved biopharmaceutical, this Act does not apply to biosimilars of large biopharmaceuticals. Section 7002 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which is referred to as the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009, amends Section 351 of the Public Health Service Act to create an abbreviated pathway that permits a biosimilar to be evaluated by comparing it with only a single reference biological product. This paper reviews the processes for approval of biosimilars in the US and the European Union and highlights recent changes in federal regulations governing the approval of biosimilars in the US.
Project description:The Gynecologic Oncology Group has historically performed ground-breaking, practice-changing clinical trials in women's cancers. The current standard of care for initial treatment of ovarian, endometrial, cervical, and trophoblastic cancers was determined by clinical trials completed within this cooperative group structure. For example, trial GOG-0111 set the standard for combining platinum and taxane chemotherapy in ovarian cancer, and more recently GOG-0240 provided evidence for adding bevacizumab to chemotherapy for women with advanced cervical cancer. The landscape of clinical trial design has markedly changed in recent decades, with a clear emphasis on streamlining drug development towards specific patient populations and indications for investigational agents. Translational science in gynecologic cancers can set the stage for rapid and efficient introduction of new therapies for our patients. The gynecologic oncology community of researchers and clinicians is well positioned to enter into the new era of drug development, with breakthrough discoveries increasing each year. It is clear that we must incorporate smarter clinical trial design to get the right drugs to the right patients expeditiously, so we can continue to improve outcome for women with gynecologic cancers.
Project description:Biosimilars remain a hot topic in rheumatology, and some physicians are cautious about their application in the real world. With many products coming to market and a wealth of guidelines and recommendations concerning their use, there is a need to understand the changing landscape and the real clinical and health-economic potential offered by these agents. Notably, rheumatologists will be at the forefront of the use of biosimilar monoclonal antibodies/soluble receptors. Biosimilars offer cost savings and health gains for our patients and will play an important role in treating rheumatic diseases. We hope that these lower costs will compensate for inequities in access to therapy based on economic differences across countries. Since approved biosimilars have already demonstrated highly similar efficacy, it will be most important to establish pharmacovigilance databases across countries that are adequate to monitor long-term safety after marketing approval.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>We examined rheumatologists' motivation for prescribing biosimilars, assessed their treatment preferences in relation to prescribing behavior and explored patient attitudes to biosimilars.<h4>Methods</h4>Data were taken from the Adelphi Real World Biosimilars Programme, a real-world, cross-sectional study undertaken with German rheumatologists and patients with rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondyloarthritis or psoriatic arthritis in 2015-2016. Rheumatologists provided data on their prescribing behavior and attitudes toward biosimilars and invited the next eight eligible consecutive consulting patients to complete a questionnaire. Rheumatologists were split into "investigative", "conservative" and "other" groups.<h4>Results</h4>Overall, 50 rheumatologists and 261 patients participated. Biosimilars accounted for <10% of all biologic therapy prescriptions, and >95% of rheumatologists would prescribe a biooriginator rather than biosimilar as the first- or second-line therapy if unrestricted. Patients showed some reluctance to accept biosimilars, and a small proportion of patients were unhappy when switched from a biooriginator to a biosimilar. Satisfaction with treatment was highest in patients who started treatment with a biooriginator prior to biosimilar availability. Patient concerns when starting treatment with a biooriginator or a biosimilar included not knowing enough about the drug (25%-41%), potential side effects (26%-32%) and potential long-term problems (19%-30%).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Study results demonstrate that there is some reluctance from patients to accept biosimilars and the need to educate patients who are unsure to allow them to be involved in decision making, highlighting the importance of patient and physician communication. There remains a need for further research into nonclinical switching and the long-term impact of prescribing biosimilars.