Rheumatology

Like all biologics, infliximab has the potential for immunogenicity, and the development of antidrug antibodies (ADAs) can lead to loss of response or hypersensitivity reactions. A newly published paper sought to evaluate the development of a cellular response to infliximab and whether such a response could predict ADA development.
In a paper published last week in ACR Open Rheumatology, researchers reported that although patients had some concerns about safety and efficacy, overall, they were satisfied with the switch to a biosimilar.
Recently, a new study sought to examine treatment patterns in US patients new to anti–tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy, and it found that a majority of patients, particularly women, do not remain on their first anti-TNF after 2 years.
In February, the FDA issued a drug safety communication on tofacitinib (Xeljanz), an oral, small-molecule Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor. According to the FDA communication, a clinical trial in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were taking an as-yet unapproved 10-mg dose of tofacitinib twice each day found an increased risk of blood clots and death.
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.
 

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