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  • Regulatory NewsRegulatory News

    Where are the Interchangeable Biosimilars?

    In June 2017, Leah Christl, former biosimilar lead at FDA, told a conference in Chicago that interchangeable biosimilars were likely coming to the US market within two years . And although no interchangeable biosimilar has been approved by FDA yet, and Christl has since moved on to Amgen , progress on interchangeable biosimilars has been made, albeit slowly, in the intervening years. Most recently, Boehringer Ingelheim announced that it has completed , as of last ...
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    UK Alerts to Teva Recall of Heartburn Medicines Over Impurity Fears

    The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Thursday alerted to a recall of its heartburn medicine ranitidine following similar recalls due to possible contamination with an impurity called NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine), which may increase the risk of cancer. For health professionals, the MHRA says to stop supplying the products immediately and quarantine all remaining stock and return it to suppliers. Andrew Gray, MHRA deputy director of...
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    Mini-Exodus From Biosimilar Space Stirs Questions

    In just the past month, three companies have all exited the biosimilar space in one way or another, which has some questioning whether expectations for the biosimilars markets need to be adjusted. The slide began early last month when Sandoz halted its submission for biosimilar rituximab in the US after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested additional information. Stefan Hendriks, global head of biopharmaceuticals at Sandoz, said he believes the needs of...
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    Sandoz Raises Questions With FDA Draft Guidance on Statistical Approaches for Biosimilars

    Martin Schiestl, chief science officer at Novartis' Sandoz, on Tuesday explained how the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) draft guidance on statistical approaches to evaluate analytical similarity poses risks that could end up causing true biosimilars to be rejected randomly. Schiestl told attendees of DIA's biosimilars conference in Bethesda, MD, that the problem is related to equivalence testing, which FDA says in the draft, "is typically recommended for qu...
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    Supreme Court Weighs Biosimilar Patent Dance

    All nine justices of the US Supreme Court gathered Wednesday to hear oral arguments from the lawyers of Novartis subsidiary Sandoz and Amgen, who took sides on what's known as the biosimilar "patent dance," and whether a notice of licensure 180 days prior to marketing is necessary. Neither side seemed to come away with a decisive win. Sandoz began the arguments on why the additional six months would further delay biosimilars from launching, also explaining why the ...
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    US Supreme Court to Consider Biosimilar Patent Process Next Week

    The highest court in the US next Wednesday will take up a fight over the so-called biosimilar "patent dance" and whether biosimilar companies have to notify reference product sponsors of the impending marketing of a new product, likely leading to a decision with ramifications for all subsequent biosimilars approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The case, which will be decided by July, may set a precedent not only on whether the patent dance is neces...
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    Biosimilars Council Urges Supreme Court to Reject Additional Six Months Exclusivity for Biologics

    In an amicus brief filed on Friday, the Biosimilars Council, a division of the newly rebranded Association for Accessible Medicines (previously the Generic Pharmaceutical Association), argues that the US Supreme Court should not give biologic manufacturers an additional six months of market exclusivity beyond the “already-generous twelve years” granted. The 49-page brief comes as the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on 26 April over a dispute between Novartis’ ...
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    Biosimilar Interchangeability: ‘Careful What You Wish For’

    As the open question around interchangeable biosimilars in the US continues to drive the discussion on what the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will require for such a designation, some experts are saying the designation might not actually be that important for the biosimilar market as a whole. Ronny Gal, senior analyst in specialty pharmaceuticals equity research at Sanford Bernstein, told attendees at GPhA’s first biosimilars conference on Thursday that although...
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    FDA Approves Third Biosimilar in US, First for Amgen's Blockbuster Enbrel

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday approved Sandoz’s biosimilar to Amgen’s blockbuster Enbrel, which will be known as Erelzi (etanercept-szzs) for all indications included in the reference product’s label. Erelzi is the second biosimilar approved via the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act in the US from Sandoz (the first was for Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz), which is biosimilar to Amgen's Neupogen). The approval of Erelzi follows a unani...
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    Drugmakers Split on Whether to Include Interchangeability Statement in Biosimilar Labels

    Drug, biologic and biosimilar companies’ comments on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) draft guidance on biosimilar labeling reveals a major split between those who do and do not want a statement on a biosimilar’s interchangeability status on each new product's label. The comments come as FDA has still yet to release its guidance on what interchangeability means, and as FDA has not found any biosimilar to be interchangeable with its reference product. However, th...
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    Back to Back: FDA Panel Offers Unanimous Thumbs Up for Sandoz’s Enbrel Biosimilar

    For a second straight day, the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Arthritis Advisory Committee unanimously pushed for the approval of a new biosimilar, this time for Sandoz’s biosimilar for Amgen’s blockbuster Enbrel (etanercept). Wednesday’s vote – 20-0, with no abstentions – comes on the heels of Tuesday’s 26-0 vote i n favor of approving Amgen’s biosimilar for AbbVie’s blockbuster Humira (adalimumab) . The discussion of Sandoz’s biosimilar was also less focuse...
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    FDA Staff: Sandoz’s Enbrel Biosimilar is ‘Highly Similar’ to Amgen's Blockbuster

    Another clear sign that the US biosimilars market is off to a good start appeared on Monday, with staff of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluding that Sandoz’s biosimilar, known currently as GP2015, and Amgen’s blockbuster Enbrel (etanercept) are “highly similar.” “In considering the totality of the evidence submitted, the data submitted by the Applicant [Sandoz] show that GP2015 is highly similar to US-licensed Enbrel, notwithstanding minor differences i...