Oncology

A newly published study discussed the potential for the anti–vascular endothelial growth factor agent bevacizumab (Avastin) and its cost-saving biosimilars to be used as second-line therapy for the treatment of patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who progressed while receiving standard therapy.
The United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) today released a final appraisal of pertuzumab (Perjeta) together with intravenous trastuzumab and chemotherapy for the treatment of HER2-positive early breast cancer, and recommended pertuzumab for use in patients if they have lymph node–positive disease and if drug maker Roche adheres to its promised discount for the drug.
Results from the phase 3 REFLECTIONS B327-02 study in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) were first presented in abstract form, but have now been reported in detail.
The assumption that Medicare Part B payment rates lead providers to create higher drug utilization for costlier treatments in order to benefit from larger add-on payments is not correct, a recent white paper said. The paper from Xcenda, a part of AmerisourceBergen, also found similar results when looking at physician-administered drugs in the hospital outpatient setting.
 
Innovent Biologics, a China-based biopharmaceutical company, recently submitted a New Drug Application for its proposed bevacizumab biosimilar, IBI-305, referencing Avastin, to the Chinese regulatory agency, the National Medical Products Administration.
 
While a majority of survey respondents said that they were at least somewhat familiar with current developments in oncology biosimilars, analyses of open-ended definitions found that only 1 participant could fully define a biosimilar, according to researchers.
Drug makers often point to substantial research and development (R&D) costs as reasons for the high prices of innovator drugs, particularly in oncology. However, some stakeholders have expressed skepticism about whether R&D costs are indeed in line with the prices that drug makers charge. In a new study published in JAMA, investigators sought to compare sales of cancer drugs with estimated R&D costs.
The FDA has approved Samsung Bioepis’ Ontruzant (trastuzumab-dttb), a biosimilar trastuzumab referencing Herceptin, for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer and HER2 overexpressing gastric cancer.
 
This week, investigators published the results of the MAPLE study, a phase 3 trial of Amgen’s bevacizumab in comparison with the reference, Avastin, in patients with advance nonsquamous non–small cell lung cancer who were also receiving first-line chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel.
The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) recently formed a standing Biosimilars Committee for which The Center for Biosimilars® advisory board member, Kashyap Patel, MD, a practicing medical oncologist at Carolina Blood and Cancer Care in South Carolina, was named chair alongside co-chairs immediate past president of COA, Jeff Vacirca MD, FACP, and Michael Diaz, MD, incoming COA president.
 

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