Rheumatology

Data continue to accrue on the use of biosimilar infliximab, CT-P13 (Inflectra, Remsima), in a variety of disease states, and a recent study among patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) who were treated with the biosimilar demonstrated infrequent discontinuation of therapy.
 
Celltrion announced that it has begun recruiting patients with inflammatory bowel disease in Ohio for a phase 3 clinical trial of its subcutaneous formulation of biosimilar infliximab, CT-P13 (Inflectra, Remsima). The study is intended to support an application for the formulation to the FDA.
Mixed cryoglobulinemic vasculitis—a rare disorder that is characterized by the presence of abnormal proteins in the blood that become insoluble at low temperatures and restrict blood flow—may be successfully managed with the use of rituximab as a generally well tolerated, glucocorticoid-sparing therapy.
A patient-level simulation model using real-world data from Finland evaluated the cost-effectiveness of abatacept, tocilizumab, and anti–tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapies as compared with rituximab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who received previous treatment with an anti-TNF agent.
 
The FDA has approved Pfizer’s rituximab biosimilar, Ruxience (rituximab-pvvr), referencing Rituxan. The biosimilar was approved to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis.
 
Celltrion formed Vcell Healthcare Limited with Nan Fung Group with the aim of commercializing 3 biosimilars in China.
Patients with inflammatory diseases in the United States continue to wait for the availability of a biosimilar etanercept, despite the 2016 approval of Erelzi and the 2019 approval of Eticovo. However, in the European context, biosimilar etanercept is already available, and recently presented data demonstrate that, in some countries, use of the biosimilar is high and making an impact on healthcare costs.
A variety of policy proposals have been put forward to help spur the US uptake of biosimilars, from legislative solutions to regulatory changes, but some providers are taking the matter into their own hands with concerted efforts to bring biosimilars to the clinic.  
 
As more health systems seek to make use of the cost savings associated with biosimilars, data continue to accrue to support switching patients to these products. One recent paper, published in The Journal of Clinical Medicine, reported that, after a switch from reference infliximab to biosimilar CT-P13 (Inflectra, Remsima), patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) who switched to the biosimilar remained in remission at 18 months post-switch.
This week, Mylan launched its biosimilar adalimumab, Hulio, in Spain. The biosimilar, referencing Humira, was developed by Mylan’s partner, Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics, and received European authorization in September 2018.

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