As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes medical systems to bog down from a host of related issues, a UT Health expert said clinical trials likely will be powered down and hospitals will put consideration of newly available agents on hold.
In guidance issued specifically in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has advised that clinical trial protocol modifications may be made but must be documented and reported as promptly as possible. The FDA notes that trial participants may be sickened by COVID-19, supplies of investigational drugs may be interrupted, and quarantines and closings may make on-site patient visits impossible.
Supplies of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are difficult to track and anticipate owing to limited information that manufacturers are required to provide, an issue that can make it difficult to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an interview with a Vizient executive.
The quantitative comparison study compared 4 different, commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays used in therapeutic drug monitoring to detect drug concentration and antibodies to infliximab in samples of drug diluted in serum.
The review found no increased risk of cancer when looking at both keratinocyte cancer and lymphomas in patients on biologics vs conventional therapy. Overall, however, patients with psoriasis appear to have a slightly increased risk of certain cancers.
Because of the high cost of biologics, the authors recognized a need to provide access to evidence-based information on biosimilars for healthcare providers working with patients with inflammatory bowel disease. 
Previous studies demonstrating equivalence of SB4 to etanercept in pharmacokinetics and safety have used pre-filled syringes, but these devices may be difficult for some patients to use if they have reduced hand dexterity due to the challenges of living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Bio-Thera Solutions announced that a phase 3 clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety of its bevacizumab biosimilar, BAT1706, to the reference product (Avastin), returned positive top-line results.

The biosimilar CPT-13 (Remsima) is currently approved in Europe for all uses for which the originator infliximab (Remicade) is approved, including Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), which are often referred to collectively as IBD. 
The Center for Biosimilars® recaps the top stories for the week of January 6.

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