Biosimilars

Biosimilar Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies: Gaps in Science Limit Development of an Industry Standard for Their Regulatory Approval, Part 2

Last month, Part 1 of this discussion briefly described the regulatory landscape for developing biosimilar therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (TMAbs). We identified certain specific structural components of TMAb drug substances that warrant particular attention because alterations to them are likely to affect therapeutic safety and effectiveness. Now we conclude by considering whether studies of reference materials can further the development of analytical industry standards to ensure comparability of putative biosimilar TMAbs with innovator TMAbs. We suggest that the time is right…

Biosimilar Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies: Gaps in Science Limit Development of an Industry Standard for Their Regulatory Approval, Part 1

Biosimilars are biologically derived pharmaceuticals intended to have clinical similarity to a legally marketed innovator product when that product’s patent or market exclusivity has expired. By contrast with generic small-molecule drugs, clinical performance of a biologic pharmaceutical is a function of its structural complexity and higher-order structure (HOS). Biomanufacturing controls of such complex products cannot fully ensure chemical similarity between an innovator product and putative biosimilar because minor differences in chemical modifications and HOS can significantly alter a product’s safety…

Outsourcing Trends in Biosimilars Development: A Discussion with Niall Dinwoodie (Charles River Laboratories)

No discussion about the future of the biopharmaceutical industry would be complete without assessing the impact of biosimilars. But such discussions no longer focus on whether biosimilars will enter the market, but rather when and how much market share will they take. The rapid progression of biosimilar candidates in company pipelines and the strong biosimilars research conducted by international organizations are strong indications that if your company is not already working within the biosimilars market, it may already be too…

Enhanced Biosimilar Product Characterization: A Case Study Using Raman Spectroscopy Combined with Dynamic Light Scattering

Biophysical characterization has drawn great attention from the biopharmaceutical industry and regulatory agencies across the globe, especially for use in biosimilar drug product development. Currently available biophysical characterization tools can help in screening and optimizing better (more stable) formulations for such products. However, most tools cannot be used for head-to-head comparison of the biophysical properties of an optimized biosimilar formulation with those of an innovator product at higher concentrations. We developed and optimized a formulation for monoclonal antibody MAb B…

Single-Use Technology Enables Flexible Factories

The biosimilars market is rapidly evolving, with more than 450 biosimilar molecules in development worldwide, and many anticipated transfers of molecules in process around the globe. With US$85 billion of biopharmaceutical products coming off patent by 2020 (1), the driving force to develop biosimilars is strong. The market will be highly saturated, with dozens of biosimilars currently in development for each current blockbuster molecule. We know of 46 trastuzumab biosimilars and 39 rituximab biosimilars in development. Because the biosimilars market…

Future Manufacturing Strategies for Biosimilars

Biosimilars are a relatively new subset of biopharmaceuticals, with the biotechnology industry finally maturing such that off-patent generic-type products increasingly will be entering major markets (1–3). So far, more than 20 biosimilars for a limited number of reference products have been approved in major markets, primarily the European Union. Only two products have been formally approved as biosimilars in the United States. For this rapidly growing industry sector, little consensus or authoritative information is available yet regarding how and where…

Outsourcing Biosimilars Development

A rapid increase in the number of companies working on development and registration of biosimilars has created a significant market for contract testing and manufacturing organizations (CTOs and CMOs) providing outsourced services specific to these products. Biosimilar developers turn to contract organizations when they lack either the internal capability or capacity for conducting certain work as well as when they require additional resources to bring products to market rapidly. A wide range of contract services are available, and each particular…

A Turning Point for US Biosimilars

The next 12–18 months could be a critical time for biosimilars in the United States (1). This product class has grown rapidly since passage of the Biosimilars Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) of 2010. That landmark legislation allowed for biosimilar market approvals based on previously approved “reference products,” creating an expedited pathway that reduces biosimilar development costs and speeds regulatory review so patients get faster access to essential medicines. Increased competition from biosimilars could save the US healthcare system…

Alkyl Mono- and Diglucosides: Highly Effective, Nonionic Surfactant Replacements for Polysorbates in Biotherapeutics — a Review

Many biotherapeutic proteins are naturally subject to aggregation. The clinical consequences of protein aggregation can be dramatic, not only affecting bioavailability and pharmacokinetics, but in extreme cases dramatically altering pharmacodynamics as well. Of equal or perhaps more importance is that aggregation is a principal source of unwanted immunogenicity in biotherapeutics. Aggregation-induced neutralizing antibodies and/or anaphylactic reactions are serious and growing US and European regulatory concerns. So they will have significant and growing influence on the future development and regulatory approval…

Accelerating Biologic and Biosimilar Drug Development: Ready-to-Use, Cell-Based Assays for Potency and Lot-Release Testing

With the drug industry’s expanding emphasis on biologics, the need for robust cell-based assays has grown at all stages of development. Requirements for efficacy, quality, and potency testing often demand a complex set of bioassays and/or cell-based assays for new therapeutics or biosimilars. Developers of the latter have found this need for cell-based assays to be particularly challenging. Commercially available, ready-to-use cell-based assays provide a robust functional response from specific therapeutic targets. They can significantly shorten assay development time while…