American College of Rheumatology 2019 Annual Meeting

As the only anti–tumor necrosis factor therapies currently available to US patients with inflammatory diseases, biosimilars of infliximab are increasingly used to treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. While there are a wealth of data on real-world use of these products in territories like the European Union, less research has examined their use in the United States. During the American College of Rheumatology’s 2019 meeting, held this week in Atlanta, Georgia, researchers reported on the results of 3 studies that assessed real-world use of biosimilar infliximab in the US context.
The lead author said the results indicate that biologics can be used in older patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as effectively as in those who are younger.
While US patients continue to wait for a biosimilar etanercept to become commercially available, real-world data continue to amass for Samsung Bioepis’ biosimilar, SB4, in European clinical practice. The biosimilar, sold as Benepali in the European context, was the subject of several studies presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology’s 2019 meeting, held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Among the first biosimilars to gain US approval was Sandoz’s etanercept biosimilar, GP2015, or Erelzi. The product was authorized by the FDA in 2016, but it has not yet launched in the US market due to long-running patent disputes related to Amgen’s innovator product, Enbrel. In other markets, however, the biosimilar is a widely used treatment option, and data presented at the American College of Rheumatology’s 2019 meeting, held this week in Atlanta, Georgia, show that not only is the biosimilar safe and effective in real-world practice in ex-US markets, but it could also bring about substantial savings in the United States once it becomes available.
The results will inform will inform counseling and management of pregnant women with inflammatory diseases who need tofacitinib or non-tumor necrosis factor inhibitors  during pregnancy, said the author.
Postmarket drug price changes alone accounted for most of the recent spending growth on biologics, and manufacturers’ rebates had little impact, according to an abstract presented at the American College of Rheumatology’s 2019 meeting, being held in Atlanta, Georgia, this week.
Over the past few years, awareness of biosimilars has been increasing; however, research presented at the American College of Rheumatology’s 2019 meeting, being held in Atlanta, Georgia, shows that while US rheumatologists hold growing awareness of biosimilars, hesitancy remains around such issues as switching stable patients and the extrapolation of indications.
On Sunday, during the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)’s 2019 meeting, being held in Atlanta, Georgia, researchers reported on the safety and efficacy of the proposed infliximab biosimilar ABP 710 in a phase 3 study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Researchers also reported on a phase 1 and 3 study of the proposed rituximab biosimilar, ABP 798, in patients with RA.

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