The Biosimilars Landscape: What All Developers Need to Know

As biosimilars to treat rheumatic diseases begin get approval from the FDA, biosimilar development remains a hot topic in drug development. Sponsors estimate Covance Contract Research Org Biosimilars Webinar 2a 35% growth of biosimilars in their development pipelines by 2020, but face a wide variety of regional and global markets along with shifting guidelines and recommendations, stressing the need to understand this rapidly changing landscape. What is the real potential for clinical and health-economic benefits offered by these agents?  Continue reading

Understanding 505(b)(2): An Abbreviated Pathway for Modified Drugs

Among the regulatory pathways for small molecule drugs in the United States, the 505(b)(2) option occupies a middle ground. Intended for modifications of an existing505(b)(2): An Abbreviated Pathway for Modified Drugs Covance Blog treatment, it requires much more evidence than a generic but allows the sponsor to use data from a previous application. Companies can thus avoid unnecessarily repeating studies and shorten their development time.

At a recent Covance clinical seminar in Shanghai, attendees learned about the intricacies of 505(b)(2), the corresponding hybrid medicinal product pathway in the European Union and the differences from applications for biosimilars or generics. Developers in the Asia Pacific region are eager to better understand this topic because the Chinese pharmaceutical industry is developing rapidly with support from the government. “They view 505(b)(2) as a potentially faster way to market,” said Eric Lang, MD, Vice President and Global Head of Clinical Drug Development Leaders, Early Phase Development Solutions. To succeed, however, sponsors will need to consult with experts who can help them develop a regulatory strategy and consider market access issues as well. Continue reading

CNS Drug Development: Impact of Biosimilars

neuro2The biologics sector continues to offer lucrative opportunities for future growth, but with relatively few contributions for the treatment of CNS indications. High-growth CNS market segments generally share one feature: biologics play a pivotal role in the treatment paradigm, or soon will. Neuromuscular-blocking biologics recently secured regulatory approval for chronic migraine. Alzheimer’s disease is a high unmet need indication currently addressed only by symptomatic treatments, with potential for disease modification biologic therapies to play an important future role.

The example of biologics’ success in the CNS market is highlighted largely by the success of therapies that target the multiple sclerosis (MS) disease process. This success has spurred some drug developers to increase their assets in this space and seek future opportunities for biologics in other CNS diseases. However, one important new reality that is slated to reshape the future landscape of this market is the introduction of biosimilars. Continue reading

Biosimilars: The Commercial Challenge

acaconv 3721With the implementation of the FDA’s abbreviated biosimilar approval pathway, biosimilars have become one of the fastest-growing categories in the biopharmaceutical sector. While these lower-priced alternatives will offer value in terms of cost savings, many stakeholders have voiced concerns over switching to biosimilar products.

The Stakeholders

Three main stakeholders of market access will determine the commercial success of biosimilars:  payors, providers, and patients.

Despite potential cost savings, many payors may be reluctant to aggressively steer utilization toward these agents until they have compelling data to demonstrate safety and efficacy profiles comparable to those of innovator products. Continue reading

Why Comparability Studies are the Key to a Biosimilar’s Success

Comparability Studies are the Key to a Biosimilar’s SuccessBiosimilars, which are new versions of innovator biopharmaceutical products that are marketed after expiration of patents, have emerged as one of the fastest growing development opportunities in the biopharmaceutical sector. In the U.S. alone, industry analysts estimate that biologics worth $80 billion are slated to go off patent by 2015.

Regulatory agencies evaluate biosimilars based on their level of similarity to, rather than the exact replication of, the innovator drug. In the U.S., recent guidance by the FDA says it will “consider the totality of the evidence” when assessing follow-on products. This approach requires sponsors to demonstrate robust chemical comparability to the innovator compound. Continue reading

Biosimilars Development Demands Expertise Across All Phases of Development

Biosimilars Development Demands Expertise This is an exciting time for biosimilars. Based on a recent MarketsandMarkets report, the global biosimilars market is expected to be worth $19.4 billion by 2014, growing at a CAGR of 89.1% from 2009 to 2014.

While the opportunity is immense, the risk involved with biosimilar development is still high with large up-front investment required and possible failure of the drug during development stages. Given the nature of biosimilars development, choosing the right CRO with capabilities across the drug development spectrum is critical to market success. Continue reading

Biotherapeutics and Immunogenicity Implications in Drug Development

Immunogenicity

In contrast to new chemical entities, biotherapeutic drugs are potentially immunogenic, and, in rare cases, treatment with such products can lead to severe and devastating illnesses in humans. Therefore, the importance in understanding how immunogenicity affects drug exposure, efficacy, and toxicity at all stages of the drug development process can not be overstated.

There are more than 200 biotechnology products currently on the market with 400-plus additional therapies in clinical trials targeting diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS. In 2014, it’s predicted that 50% of the top 100 drug sales will be biologics, an increase of 28% from 2008. Continue reading