EHA25 Virtual Roundup

June 18, 2020

Here is a summary of our coverage from EHA25 Virtual, the annual meeting for the European Hematology Association (EHA).

Hi, I’m Skylar Jeremias for The Center for Biosimilars®, your resource for clinical, regulatory, business, and policy news in the rapidly changing world of biosimilars.

The European Hematology Association recently held its 25th Annual Congress, EHA25 Virtual, from June 11 through June 21. The meeting was conducted on a digital platform due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and featured some key study findings and presentations on the up-and-coming world of hematology biosimilars.

The following is a summary of our biosimilar coverage from this event:

Investigators produced what they described as the first evidence supporting the use of biosimilar erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) in patients with myelofibrosis (MF)-related anemia.

Investigators said ESAs are used to manage anemia in hematological malignancies, but scarce evidence exists for the use of these agents in the treatment of MF, and available results are divergent: Response rates range from 23% to 69%, according to the abstract presented at EHA25 Virtual. Until this study, there were no data on the use of biosimilar ESAs in this setting, investigators said.

Investigators reported an 88% overall response rate for a Sandoz rituximab biosimilar in combination with chemotherapy in patients with CD20-positive diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. At the end of treatment, the complete response was 57% and partial response was 31%. Investigators said 61% and 29% of patients experienced enlarged lymph nodes and disease-related pain, respectively.

The efficacy and safety data presented this month at EHA25 Virtual confirmed findings from the REFLECT study released in 2019, which was the first prospective postapproval study to evaluate a rituximab biosimilar in this context.

Study findings show that a rituximab biosimilar developed by Celltrion Healthcare (Truxima) in combination with lenalidomide and acalabrutinib (R2A) in patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell lymphoma was tolerable and effective.

The addition of rituximab, a targeted therapy, to chemotherapy agents can improve patient outcomes but adds to the financial burden of treatment. Investigators said that exploring the use of biosimilar rituximab may be an avenue to bring down costs.

To read all of these articles, visit our EHA conference page.


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