I recently attended the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM) Biosimilars Council’s Leading on Biosimilars conference.In addition to the many tidbits of knowledge I took away from this event, two terms kept resurfacing throughout the conference I feel are worth delving into more deeply.
In a recent article, I discussed the market opportunities and reimbursement system in Russia. But in addition to this snapshot of the market, my conversation with BIOCAD's Roman Ivanov highlighted how the Russian biosimilar regulatory system was established, as well as the challenges BIOCAD has faced during it evolution.
After my discussion with BIOCAD's Roman Ivanov, it’s clear the Russian biosimilar market is a prime example of the positive impact biosimilars can have on a nation. However, Russia's biosimilar market has evolved quite differently than those of the EU and U.S.
In June 2017, Canadian company PlantForm announced it was beginning construction for a pilot biologics and biosimilar manufacturing facility in Brazil. Given Brazil’s ongoing efforts to establish a local biotechnology industry, I reached out to learn more about PlantForm’s progress in navigating the regulatory landscape to bring its biosimilars closer to market.
There is no cut-and-dried approach to launching a biosimilar globally. It comes down to having the right commercial model for the right product in the right channel in the right market. But knowing what is “right” will be a particular stumbling block for many companies.
As the first of this two-part article revealed, the biosimilar market has undergone several revolutions since the release of the Thai FDA’s biosimilar guidelines in 2013. During our tour of Siam’s facilities, the company’s managing director, Songpon Deechongkit, Ph.D., shared the company’s history, overall biosimilar strategy, and some of the pros and cons of being the first and only biosimilar company in Thailand.
In terms of life sciences, Brazil is best known as a small molecule pharmaceutical market; some of the largest companies in Brazil are small molecule generics companies. But, in recent years, the country has identified the importance of establishing a biotechnology industry. Enter the productive development partnerships (PDPs).
In this article (the second of two parts), experts from a regional and national payer elaborate on some of their expectations for the market and how they — in partnership with companies — can encourage biosimilar acceptance.
In the first of this two-part article, two experts from a regional and national payer reveal why they haven't exactly taken the hoped-for no-holds-barred approach to biosimilars.
A recent discussion amongst experts from Momenta, Eli Lilly, and Foley & Lardner highlighted the diversity of opinions surrounding Amgen v. Sandoz and other legal challenges in the space. But lurking underneath discussions of statutes and standards of evidence is biosimilar makers' desires for options to address the U.S.' rigid patent landscape.
In the third, most recent installment of The Atlantic’s biosimilar policy update, Vermont Representative Peter Welch homed in on several misperceptions and hesitations within Congress which are serving as a stumbling block to government-assisted cheaper prices, as well as the timely market entry of biosimilars.
Listening to the diverse membership of the biosimilar industry speak at a number of conferences this past year has raised two questions about the FDA and the overall role it should play — both in citizens’ lives and within the industry.
There were two big questions that were addressed throughout the recent World Biosimilar Congress conference that both deepened my own knowledge of this space and/or called attention to topics that have been cropping up in other industry discussions.
In the first of this two-part article, I highlighted the current, cautious biosimilar climate in one IDN and some of the challenges hindering uptake. But I was pleasantly surprised by the confidence Michael Jacobs, senior director of health and wellness at Walmart, had about the positive impact the retail pharmacy model could have on biosimilars in the upcoming years.
After hearing presentations by two experts working in an integrated delivery network (IDN) and a retail pharmacy setting, it’s clear each has a decidedly different stance on biosimilars: one is cautious, the other confident. In the first of this two-part article, I address the current, cautious biosimilar climate in one IDN and some of the challenges hindering uptake.
About a month ago, I was offered a tremendous opportunity: to attend a media trip to Thailand to learn about the country’s burgeoning life sciences industry. Like many people in the life sciences industry, I had no idea just how much has been going on within the country in terms of life sciences.
The BBCIC is in the midst of undertaking one of the biggest challenges facing the industry: biosimilar post-marketing surveillance. Despite its young, two-year tenure, the BBCIC has set several key goals for the year ahead to ensure science, not anecdotal reporting, informs all stakeholders about biosimilar performance.
We’ve continued to see more data released emphasizing the safety of biosimilar switching abroad. However, as Merck KGaA Darmstadt Germany's Sue Naeyaert argues, these data alone are unlikely to be the silver bullet to greater biosimilar uptake. In an interview, Naeyaert shared her thoughts about how interchangeability in the U.S. will play out, as well as how biosimilar use could be incentivized in the fragmented American healthcare system.
Edric Engert, managing director of Abraxeolus Consulting (formerly of Teva), shares his opinions on where the biosimilar market is heading, how we can promote greater uptake within the U.S., and just how “genericized” the market can and will potentially become.
The 2017 Amgen "Trends in Biosimilars" report called attention to a few trends that align with what I’ve been observing within the industry that manufacturers, payers, and prescribers should expect for the year (and years) ahead.
In the U.S., interchangeability has often been regarded as a golden ticket to greater uptake. But the EU’s experiences reveal a different story.
REMS and voluntary restricted distribution programs have become a significant stumbling block for biosimilar companies. The Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules recently held a hearing on these controversial practices. If there was one big takeaway from the presenting witnesses, it’s that the biosimilars industry is ready for legislative action against these abuses.
In a recent policy briefing, Congress emphasized its wish to see more biosimilar approvals and market launches over the next five years of BsUFA II. But a panel of experts at this same briefing also brought a variety of different experiences and relationships with biosimilars, and, as such, different perceptions on the pace at which the biosimilar market is developing.
The Atlantic and The Biosimilars Council recently teamed up to hold a policy briefing, interviewing the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Representative Michael Burgess. This provided a valuable opportunity to hear Burgess, who is at the center of the recent ACA and user fee negotiations, speak on the upcoming BsUFA reauthorization and the role of Congress in furthering the BPCIA.
AmerisourceBergen's Dave Picard, VP of biosimilars and injectables, offers valuable insight into current market dynamics and how biosimilars will fit into current hospital distribution models.
I recently watched the livestream of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s hearing on the FDA’s Generic Drug (GDUFA) and Biosimilar User Fee (BsUFA) programs. >While the overarching argument was that Congress should reauthorize these user fee programs, I came away with a few more takeaways worth noting for the biosimilar community.
In early January, both Pew and MedPAC presented several suggested changes to current Medicare Part B policy. Though these two organizations' proposals have their differences, the ultimate goal of both is to encourage competition between biosimilars and reference products, which would help with affordability for biologics.
Though the interchangeability draft guidance seemed to be well-received by biosimilar makers, I’m hesitant to interpret the surprising post-guidance quietness to mean companies have no concerns about the bar it sets for attaining interchangeability.
I recently attended the IQPC Biosimilars Analytical Similarity, Clinical Studies, and Market Entry conference. This event, which took attendees into the heart of biosimilar development (the analytical and statistical work) was a great example of the scientific challenges developers may face while working with different regulatory agencies.
The first biosimilar was approved for the European market in 2006. While the regulatory pathway for biosimilars in the U.S. was created as part of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010, the first biosimilar was only recently approved for the U.S. market in March 2015.
Biosimilars are essentially generic versions of large molecule biologics. However, the fact they are not exact copies of the reference product makes establishing regulations for their approval and release to market a more complicated process. The WHO, along with many other parties in the pharmaceutical industry, has argued that regulations governing the development and approval of small molecule generics are not appropriate for more complex biological medicines. As such, the WHO set out to establish regulations articulating the efficacy, safety, and quality standards biosimilars must meet and maintain to make it to market. These regulations specify that a biosimilar must prove its biosimilarity to a reference product through head-to-head comparisons. The biosimilar company must also submit non-clinical and clinical studies data and a pharmacovigilance plan to the appropriate regulatory body. Those navigating the landscape of current biosimilars regulations face the challenge of demonstrating a biosimilar’s safety, purity, efficacy, and potency.
The current U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) regulations for biosimilars require these biologic copies to undergo extensive analytical chemistry, manufacturing, and control (CMC) and clinical processes to prove similarity to the reference product. However, in comparison to the originator biologic, a biosimilar could see an accelerated approval process, as it might need less data to meet the established regulations. The EMA was the first regulatory authority to establish marketing regulations for biosimilars in 2005. Other countries including Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, and South Africa have since turned to the EMA’s regulations, as well as the WHO’s regulations, as a model for crafting their own regulations. In 2012, the FDA released three draft guidances to assist biosimilar developers in demonstrating their product’s biosimilarity. To comply with existing U.S. regulations, manufacturers are expected to include structural analysis, functional assays, and data from animal and human clinical trials in their applications. As biosimilar production spreads globally, regulations have continued to shift and evolve. Currently, each governing body has differing definitions/terminology for biosimilars, and as such, has established varying regulations dictating what studies and data are needed to be approved for the market.