Rheumatology

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.
While the United States continues to await the launch of the first FDA-approved biosimilar etanercept (Erelzi), in other parts of the world biosimilars of the reference etanercept (Enbrel) are being widely used in clinical practice, and recent research reports on the role that biosimilar etanercept plays in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
GP2013, a biosimilar rituximab developed by Sandoz and licensed in the European Union under the brand names Rixathon and Riximyo, is used to treat both malignant and inflammatory diseases. A recently published paper, appearing in Arthritis Care and Research, says that researchers detected no safety risks when switching patients with rheumatoid arthritis from reference rituximab (Rituxan) to the biosimilar.
New research, published in BioDrugs, underscores the long-term efficacy and safety of treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with biosimilar rituximab, CT-P10.
In a newly published correspondence, Italian rheumatology providers called into question whether recently published results from the DANBIO registry can be used to guide non-medical switching from reference etanercept (Enbrel) to biosimilar SB4 (Benpali) in patients with inflammatory diseases.
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.
 
Biosimilar adalimumab is making its way to patients, some of whom have expressed concerns about the presence of citrate in some of the available biosimilars.
In observational studies of patients who have switched treatment from a reference biologic to a biosimilar, some higher rates of discontinuation have been observed when these studies are compared with blinded switching studies.
Bio-Thera Solutions, a China-based biosimilar developer, announced that it has dosed the first patients in its phase 3 clinical study of BAT1806, a proposed biosimilar tocilizumab referencing Actemra, an interleukin-6 inhibitor.
Amgen and Allergan today announced positive topline results of a combined phase 1 and phase 3 study evaluating ABP 798, a proposed biosimilar rituximab, in comparison with the reference Rituxan in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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