Rheumatology

The arrival of biosimilar adalimumab in European markets has been cause for enthusiasm among those seeking greater patient access and lower costs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, AbbVie (maker of the reference adalimumab, Humira) has revealed that its oral Janus kinase inhibitor, upadacitinib, outperformed both placebo and adalimumab in a phase 3 study. 
Secukinumab’s growing number of indications and its body of positive data may help it to compete for a substantial share of the inflammatory disease market against an increasing number of US- and EU-approved biosimilars, including 4 recently launched adalimumab biosimilars in the European Union. 
 
As more biosimilars are earning regulatory approvals in both the United States and the European Union, the question of whether to switch patients (and at what point to do so) continues to be discussed; researchers will present findings from 2 etanercept switching studies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) during the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) Annual meeting, held in Chicago, Illinois October 19-24, 2018.
 
With a number of new biosimilars making their way to market and eventually to the clinic, it is crucial that healthcare providers become educated about and comfortable with biosimilar products. During a session at the fifth DIA Biosimilars Conference, held October 22 to 23 in London, United Kingdom, experts addressed a number of key areas for provider education. 
During the American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, Illinois from October 19-24, 2018, various researchers will present findings on the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of 3 adalimumab biosimilars. 
The potential for the development of antidrug antibodies is a key concern among prescribers who use all biologics that target tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Two presentations at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, which will be held from October 19-24, 2018, will address the immunogenicity of biosimilars in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
 
As biosimilar etanercept SB4, sold in many markets as Benepali, has entered the rheumatoid arthritis treatment space, researchers have recognized the need to investigate the retention rates and disease activity scores among patients receiving SB4 and its reference. 
 
Stakeholders hoping to see increased uptake of biosimilars in the United States are increasingly pointing to a lack of provider awareness as a key hindrance to the biosimilars marketplace. New research, to be presented at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, held from October 19-24, 2018, suggests that, despite efforts to educate providers, awareness of biosimilars—as well as awareness of patients’ attitudes toward them—remains low.
 
One day after Sandoz and Amgen announced European launches of their biosimilar adalimumab products referencing Humira, Samsung Bioepis announced that it has launched its own biosimilar, Imraldi.
As more biosimilars are poised to become available to US patients, American rheumatologists are looking to their European counterparts for lessons learned from nonmedical switches from reference products to biosimilars. During the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, held from October 19-24, 2018, several research teams will present on nonmedical switching in the European context.

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