SB4 in the Era of Biosimilars: Clinical Data and Real-World Experience.
ABSTRACT: A biosimilar is a biological medicinal product that is highly similar to an already authorized original biological medicinal product. The introduction of biosimilars may allow for a reduction in health care costs, due to discount pricing. Current clinical studies and real-world data suggest that the biosimilar SB4 is equivalent to etanercept with respect to efficacy and safety. Additional real-world safety data for SB4 via pharmacovigilance studies are needed to draw conclusions regarding the risks of rare adverse events such as serious infections and malignancy. Clinical trial design of biosimilars should be standardised to improve consistency, increase confidence and facilitate interpretation of data. Where there are health economic advantages of switching from originator to biosimilar, patients should be appropriately informed, and, ideally, in order to minimise nocebo responses and maximise benefit, switching should be undertaken by shared decision-making between the physician and patient on a case-by-case basis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Biosimilars must meet stringent regulatory requirements, both at the time of authorization and during their lifecycle. Yet it has been suggested that divergence in quality attributes over time may lead to clinically meaningful differences between two versions of a biologic. Therefore, this study investigated the batch-to-batch consistency across a range of parameters for released batches of the etanercept biosimilar (SB4) and infliximab biosimilar (SB2). METHODS:SB4 (Benepali®) and SB2 (Flixabi®) were both developed by Samsung Bioepis and are manufactured in Europe by Biogen at their facility in Hillerød, Denmark. A total of 120 batches of SB4 and 25 batches of SB2 were assessed for consistency and compliance with specified release parameters, including purity, post-translational glycosylation (SB4 only), protein concentration, and biological activity. RESULTS:The protein concentration, purity, tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) binding, and TNF-? neutralization of all batches of SB4 and SB2 were within the strict specification limits set by regulatory agencies, as was the total sialic acid (TSA) content of all batches of SB4. CONCLUSIONS:Quality attributes of SB4 and SB2 batches showed little variation and were consistently within the rigorous specifications defined by regulatory agencies.
Project description:The term 'biosimilar' refers to an alternative similar version of an off-patent innovative originator biotechnology product (the 'reference product'). Several biosimilars have been approved in Europe, and a number of top-selling biological medicines have lost, or will lose, patent protection over the next 5 years. We look at the experience in Europe so far. The USA has finally implemented a regulatory route for biosimilar approval. We recommend that European and US governments and payers take a strategic approach to get value for money from the use of biosimilars by (1) supporting and incentivising generation of high-quality comprehensive outcomes data on the effectiveness and safety of biosimilars and originator products; and (2) ensuring that incentives are in place for budget holders to benefit from price competition. This may create greater willingness on the part of budget holders and clinicians to use biosimilar and originator products with comparable outcomes interchangeably, and may drive down prices. Other options, such as direct price cuts for originator products or substitution rules without outcomes data, are likely to discourage biosimilar entry. With such approaches, governments may achieve a one-off cut in originator prices but may put at risk the creation of a more competitive market that would, in time, produce much greater savings. It was the creation of competitive markets for chemical generic drugs-notably, in the USA, the UK and Germany-rather than price control, that enabled payers to achieve the high discounts now taken for granted.
Project description:To date, no consensus exists among stakeholders about switching patients between reference biological products (RPs) and biosimilars, which may have been curbing the implementation of biosimilars in clinical practice. This study synthesizes the available data on switching and assesses whether switching patients from a RP to its biosimilar or vice versa affects efficacy, safety, or immunogenicity outcomes. A total of 178 studies, in which switch outcomes from a RP to a biosimilar were reported, was identified. Data were derived from both randomized controlled trials and real-world evidence. Despite the limitations stemming from a lack of a robust design for most of the studies, the available switching data do not indicate that switching from a RP to a biosimilar is associated with any major efficacy, safety, or immunogenicity issues. Some open-label and observational studies reported increased discontinuation rates after switching, which were mainly attributed to nocebo effects. Involvement of the prescriber in any decision to switch should remain and attention should be paid to the mitigation of a potential nocebo effect.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In 2014 and 2015, biosimilars for the drugs filgrastim, infliximab, and insulin glargine were approved for use in Canada. The introduction of biosimilars in Canada could provide significant cost savings for the Canadian healthcare system over originator biologic drugs, however it is known that the use of biosimilars varies widely across the world. The aim of this study was to estimate the use of biosimilars in Canada and potential cost-savings from their use. METHODS:We performed a retrospective analysis of Canadian drug purchases for filgrastim, infliximab, and insulin glargine from July 2016 to June 2018. This was a cross-sectional study and the time horizon was limited to the study period. As a result, no discounting of effects over time was included. Canadian drugstore and hospital purchases data, obtained from IQVIA™, were used to estimate the costs per unit and unit volume for biosimilars and originator biologic drugs within each province. Potential cost-savings were calculated as a product of the units of reference originator product purchased and the cost difference between the originator biologic and its corresponding biosimilar. RESULTS:The purchase of biosimilars varied by each province in Canada, ranging from a low of 0.1% to a high of 81.6% of purchases. In total, $1,048,663,876 Canadian dollars in savings could have been realized with 100% use of biosimilars over the originator products during this 2?year time period. The potential savings are highest in the province of Ontario ($349 million); however, even in smaller markets (PEI and Newfoundland), $28 million could have potentially been saved. Infliximab accounted for the vast majority of the potential cost-savings, whereas the purchases of the biosimilar filgrastim outpaced that of the originator drug in some provinces. In sensitivity analyses assuming only 80% of originator units would be eligible for use as a biosimilar, $838 million dollars in cost savings over this two-year time period would still have been realized. CONCLUSIONS:The overall use of biosimilar drugs in Canada is low. Policy makers, healthcare providers, and patients need to be informed of potential savings by increased use of biosimilars, particularly in an increasingly costly healthcare system.
Project description:Authorization to market a biosimilar product by the appropriate institutions is expected based on biosimilarity with its originator product. The analogy between the originator and its biosimilar(s) is assessed through safety, purity, and potency analyses.In this study, we proposed a useful quality control system for rapid and economic primary screening of potential biosimilar drugs. For this purpose, chemical and functional characterization of the originator rhEPO alfa and two of its biosimilars was discussed.Qualitative and quantitative analyses of the originator rhEPO alfa and its biosimilars were performed using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). The identification of proteins and the separation of isoforms were studied using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), respectively. Furthermore, the biological activity of these drugs was measured both in vitro, evaluating the TF-1 cell proliferation rate, and in vivo, using the innovative experimental animal model of the zebrafish embryos.Chemical analyses showed that the quantitative concentrations of rhEPO alfa were in agreement with the labeled claims by the corresponding manufacturers. The qualitative analyses performed demonstrated that the three drugs were pure and that they had the same amino acid sequence. Chemical differences were found only at the level of isoforms containing N-glycosylation; however, functional in vitro and in vivo studies did not show any significant differences from a biosimilar point of view.These rapid and economic structural and functional analyses were effective in the evaluation of the biosimilarity between the originator rhEPO alfa and the biosimilars analyzed.
Project description:Background:Biological therapy has revolutionized the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). After the expiration of patents for biological innovator products, development of biosimilars increased. CT-P13 was the first biosimilar approved for the same indications as the reference product; however, the approval was based on extrapolated data from rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Our aim was to review clinical studies about switching from originator infliximab (IFX-O) to biosimilar infliximab (IXF-B) in IBD, focusing on recently published data and the future of biosimilars. Methods:The PubMed database was searched for original articles published up to 1 December 2018 reporting data on IFX-B in IBD. Results:A total of 29 studies assessing switching from IFX-O to IFX-B, 14 assessing induction therapy with IFX-B were found. Efficacy, safety and immunogenicity were discussed. Studies confirm that CT-P13 is safe and equally efficient as the reference product for both induction and maintenance therapy; and that switching from the reference product to biosimilar is non-inferior to continuous biosimilar use. However, efficacy and safety data on Flixabi (SB2) in IBD patients is lacking. Conclusion:Switching from the originator to a biosimilar in patients with IBD is acceptable, although scientific and clinical evidence is lacking regarding reverse switching, multiple switching and cross-switching among biosimilars in IBD patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Despite the benefits biosimilars offer in terms of cost savings and patient access, healthcare professionals and patients have been reluctant to use them. Next to insufficient understanding of and trust in biosimilars, healthcare professionals and patients have questions about switching and the nocebo effect when using biosimilars in clinical practice. In addition, clear motivation to use biosimilars may be lacking among these stakeholders. OBJECTIVE:This study aims to provide recommendations on how to improve biosimilar use on both a clinical and a practical level based on insights from healthcare professionals (physicians, hospital pharmacists, nurses), patients (or their representatives), and regulators across Europe. METHODS:We conducted 44 semi-structured interviews with experts from five stakeholder groups across Europe: physicians, hospital pharmacists, nurses, regulators, and patients/representatives. Interviews were transcribed ad verbatim and transcripts analysed according to the thematic framework method. RESULTS:Based on the insights and considerations of the experts interviewed, we identified a number of recommendations to improve the use of biosimilars in clinical practice. Regarding switch implementation, the experts voiced support for the following actions: (1) disseminate evidence from and experience with (multiple) switching; (2) provide clear, one-voice regulatory guidance about the interchangeability of biosimilars and their reference product; (3) apply a multi-stakeholder implementation and communication protocol to guide switching in clinical practice; (4) apply a pragmatic approach when taking switch decisions; and (5) avoid mandated switching, allowing stakeholder communication and alignment. When discussing approaches to increase the willingness of stakeholders to use biosimilars, we concluded that actions should be centred on (1) communicating the benefits provided by biosimilars and the introduction of market competition, (2) increasing awareness among stakeholders about medicine prices and their societal responsibility to use medicines in a cost-effective manner, (3) transparent reporting about the allocation of savings, (4) sharing biosimilar usage data among hospitals and prescribers to allow peer-to-peer benchmarking, and (5) applying a balanced combination of tangible and non-tangible incentives that can be tailored to offset the time and effort expended by stakeholders when switching to a biosimilar. CONCLUSIONS:This study proposes a number of strategic, practical, and overarching recommendations to support healthcare professionals and inform decision makers to improve the clinical use of biosimilars and the willingness of stakeholders to use them. The proposed solutions to fully realise the potential of biosimilars for healthcare systems and patients include developing practical switch guidance, being transparent about the gains from biosimilar use (and how savings are allocated), and developing a combination of non-tangible and tangible incentives for involved stakeholders.
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>This study examined gastroenterologists' motivation for prescribing biosimilars, assessed their treatment preferences in relation to prescribing behaviour, 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 in 2015-2016 with German gastroenterologists and patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Gastroenterologists provided data on their prescribing behaviour and attitudes towards biosimilars, and invited the next eight eligible consecutive consulting patients to complete a detailed questionnaire. For analysis, gastroenterologists were split into 'Investigative', 'Conservative', and 'Other' groups.<h4>Results</h4>Overall, 25 gastroenterologists and 136 patients participated. Biosimilars accounted for <15% of all biologic therapies and >80% of gastroenterologists would prescribe a bio-originator rather than biosimilar as 1st line therapy if unrestricted. Patients showed some reluctance to accept biosimilars, although of those receiving biosimilars, 79% were satisfied with the current treatment of their condition, and 69% were satisfied with the control of symptoms. Although at least 35% of patients in each analysis group reported no concerns when starting treatment with a bio-originator or biosimilar, 41% of previously biologic-naïve patients prescribed a biosimilar indicated potential side effects and potential long-term problems, and 24% not knowing enough about the drug, as concerns.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Results demonstrate that there is reluctance from patients to accept biosimilars and the need to further 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 non-clinical switching and the long term impact of prescribing biosimilars.
Project description:The recent approval of reference etanercept (re-ETN) biosimilars SB4, GP2015, and HD203 produced relevant changes in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis due to the considerably lower cost of these products and the consequent savings.To review the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and safety of ETN biosimilars when employed as first-line therapy or after transition from re-ETN. Patients' acceptability was also addressed.The available literature was reviewed through a search of PubMed database, and abstract books of the American College for Rheumatology and European League Against Rheumatism annual meetings. SB4, GP2015, and HD203 were licensed by the US, European and South Korea regulatory agencies after the bioequivalence to re-ETN was demonstrated through pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic studies, and randomized, head to head, controlled trials. Based on the evidence of efficacy and safety of SB4 and HD203 in RA, and of GP2015 in psoriasis, by the extrapolation principle, the three biosimilars were approved for all indications licensed for re-ETN, and the regulatory agencies introduced the interchangeability from the originator to the biosimilar. Extrapolation of indications, and particularly interchangeability raised relevant concerns among the rheumatologists due to the low level of evidence supporting the switching strategy (or transition). Rheumatologists' concerns are oriented toward the relevant number of biosimilar discontinuations after the transition ranging from 7%-17% over a short-term follow-up period. As resulted from two studies, at least 20%-30% of the patients claimed more exhaustive information on the switching procedure.Based on the available evidence, re-ETN biosimilars may be a good option as first-line therapy, while further data are needed to definitively establish the efficacy, safety, and the economic reflexes of transitioning from re-ETN.