AbbVie has announced that the FDA has accepted for priority review its New Drug Application for upadacitinib for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Upadacitinib is a proposed once-daily, small-molecule, oral Janus kinase inhibitor that, if approved, could be an alternative to therapy with such injectable biologics as AbbVie’s flagship RA treatment, adalimumab (Humira), which will face biosimilar competition in the United States by 2023.
Pfizer received authorization from the European Commission for its bevacizumab biosimilar, PF-06439535, to be sold under the trade name Zirabev for the treatment of certain advanced cancers: carcinoma of the colon or rectum, breast cancer, non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), renal cell cancer, and cervical cancer.
Health Canada has announced that all biologics, including biosimilars, will be identified by their brand names and nonproprietary names without the addition of a product-specific suffix. The regulator says that both the brand name and nonproprietary name of any biologic product should be used at all times so that products that share the same nonproprietary name can be differentiated by their brands.
The comment period has recently closed for the FDA’s proposed approach to the transition of insulins and other products that have historically been regulated as drugs and follow-ons to regulation as biologics and biosimilars, and among the comments from stakeholders is a suggestion that one drug maker may be interested in selling biosimilars of its own products.
The FDA released draft industry guidance for its pathway aimed at providing incentives to stimulate competition for branded drugs that have few or no generic counterparts in the marketplace. Separately, it also updated its “name and shame” list.
Even as developers begin work on the next wave of cost-saving biosimilars, and though approximately 50 biosimilar products (including monoclonal antibodies) have been approved in Russia to date, the country has not yet established clear regulatory guidelines for biosimilars.
The Center for Biosimilars® recaps the top news for the week of February 11, 2019.
The FDA this week announced draft guidance that would allow stakeholders to propose pharmaceutical quality standards for potential informal recognition to increase efficiency in drug development by achieving “voluntary consensus standards.”
The FDA recently released final guidance on the use of therapeutic proteins in developing biologics and biosimilars. "Immunogenicity Testing of Therapeutic Protein Products—Developing and Validating Assays for Anti-Drug Antibody Detection" represents current FDA thinking about developing and validating assays for anti-drug antibody (ADA) detection. 
The Center for Biosimilars® recaps the top news for the week of February 4, 2019.

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