Biosimilars

Deal-Making in the Biosimilars Market

Driven by significant opportunity and a perceived lower risk strategy for taking a slice of the booming biologics market, companies have been investing heavily in biosimilars to capitalize on a market that’s forecast to be worth US$3.5 billion by 2015. To exploit this opportunity, companies have embarked on a hearty meal of deal-making. Since the biosimilar market’s formal inception in Europe in 2005, deal flow has been solid. Generics companies made early forays, seeking to leverage relationships with payers and…

Process Optimization of Biosimilars Production Using NMR Profiling

With a compound annual growth rate potential of ∼52% during 2010–2015 (1), the global biosimilars market represents a significant driver in biologics development and manufacture. Increased competition, quality-by-design (QbD) directives, and rising costs are compelling biosimilars manufacturers to search for advanced technologies they can use in optimizing production processes to remain competitive and maximize new opportunities. Here, we discuss biomanufacturers’ needs for robust, standardized cell-culturing procedures that comply with QbD directives. We also describe an effective new NMR-based bioanalysis technology.…

Looking at the Recent FDA Biosimilar Guidelines

Small-molecule treatments are invaluable in providing symptomatic benefits for an array of illnesses. However, many serious conditions — ranging from cancer to autoimmune disorders — respond better to more sophisticated complex drugs such as therapeutic biologics and nonbiologic complex drugs (NBCDs). The latter are medicinal, nonbiological products in which the active substance is not a homomolecular structure, but rather consists of a number of different (closely related) structures that cannot be fully characterized. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…

Single-Use Technology Supports Follow-On Biologics

    Follow-on biologics (FOBs, or biosimilars) differ from generic small-molecule compounds and pioneer biopharmaceuticals in several ways. Those differences affect aspects of their regulatory approval pathway, analytics, and marketing (1). Many biological active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are actually incompletely characterized dynamic mixtures of macromolecules with slightly different primary compositions or higher-order structure (microheterogeneity). Those properties of macromolecules (unlike small molecules) are greatly influenced by their individual manufacturing process. Emerging regulatory guidelines for follow-on biologics are clarifying aspects of their…

Clinical Development of Biosimilars

    Biosimilars require comparative studies that are different from the typical placebo-control clinical trials for first-generation proteins. A typical clinical trial programs must show equivalence of a biosimilar to the originator protein. Hans-Peter Guler, senior vice president of clinical development at INC Research, recently discussed with me the primary objectives and approaches to conducting an equivalence design.   By contrast with trials for originator proteins, equivalence trials require a different statistical approach. The biosimilars company needs agreement from the…

Biosimilars in Development

    The 2009 Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) provided the bioprocessing industry with the legislative pathway toward approval of biosimilars. US Food and Drug Administration information regarding how it will translate that legislation, however, had been limited until an August 2011 article finally provided some insight on how those guidances might actually play out (1). As expected, the agency appears to be implementing a science-driven approach, with sponsor companies needing to apply complementary orthogonal analytical methods to…

Generic Biologics

      The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation (BPCI) Act of 2009 establishes an abbreviated approval pathway for biologic drugs in the United States that are demonstrated to be highly similar (biosimilar) to or interchangeable with biological products licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). BPCI was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Act) that was signed into law on 23 March 2010 (1). As the name of the umbrella legislation implies, the legislative…

Nomenclature of New Biosimilars Will Be Highly Controversial

Biopharmaceuticals, including products approved as biosimilars, must be clearly defined, identified, and named to ensure accuracy in writing and filling prescriptions (1,2,3,4). The US biosimilars law enacted last year enables the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve abbreviated biosimilar biologics license applications (bBLAs) or 351(k) filings based largely on their sponsors proving structural, composition, and clinical similarities with an approved biologic (reference product), much like generic drug approvals (5). The agency has yet to disclose how it will implement…