NeuClone did not specify whether it intends to move to a phase 3 clinical trial for the biosimilar. In fact, in its statement on the phase 1 results, the company noted that phase 3 trials are not required to achieve regulatory clearance.
Interestingly, nocebo effects may also be induced by exposure to information shared online, through social media, through drug advertisements, and advertised descriptions or warnings about health-related conditions. The effect can be profound; the authors said negative expectations underlying nocebo phenomena have been shown to alter activity in certain regions of the brain.
Researchers from biotech company Tetra Therapeutics have reported that, in their retrospective population-based study of 56 million patients with inflammatory diseases, use of anti–tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) agents was linked with a reduced risk of Alzheimer disease.
Drug developer Biocad received approval for its rituximab biosimilar, BCD-020 (Acellbia) in Russia in 2014, and since that time, the drug has been launched in Russia and in multiple other markets around the world. While Biocad has not specified whether it plans to pursue regulatory approval for the biosimilar in the European Union, the company has announced ambitions to enter the EU market with some of its products, and researchers have published new data for the biosimilar in both oncology and rheumatology indications.
In Crohn disease (CD), anti–tumor necrosis factor therapies like adalimumab have provided an alternative to long-term corticosteroid therapy and have reduced the need for many patients to have surgical interventions. It has been proposed that early treatment with biologics may lead to better outcomes and fewer complications—like strictures and fistulae—and findings from a recent study support that assertion.
Data on the safety and efficacy of biosimilar infliximab CT-P13 (Inflectra, Remsima) in treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) continue to accrue, in both adult patients and in pediatric patients, and a study from Finland adds to that body of knowledge, while another study in pediatric patients shows that Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors may be an option for those who do not respond adequately to infliximab or other biologic treatment.
Researchers have hypothesized that signaling through the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway could have immunomodulatory effects, and a recent study reports on a phase 2 trial that assessed a combination of the immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab with the anti-VEGF agent bevacizumab, which now has a commercially available biosimilar.
The fact that biologic drugs are typically infused or injected poses numerous challenges, including discomfort for patients, instability under some storage conditions, and the generation of needle waste. Researchers have long sought a way to deliver biologics orally, and some teams have even reported progress toward the goal of delivering monoclonal antibodies in coated tablet forms. Now, researchers have reported in Nature Medicine that a luminal unfolding microneedle injector could be a feasible delivery device for biologic drugs like insulin.
Nordic countries have had some of the highest rates of biosimilar use, and extensive registry data in these countries also allow for observational studies of biosimilar use in real-world clinical practice. A new study used data from 5 such registries—which included more than 2000 patients with spondyloarthritis—to assess retention rates for those treated with biosimilars or reference products of etanercept and infliximab.
During the European Society for Medical Oncology Asia Congress 2019, held last week in Singapore, a research team led by Binghe Xu, MD, PhD, department of medical oncology at the Cancer Hospital Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China, reported that the biosimilar met its primary end point of best overall response rate at week 24.

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