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Sandoz, Austria

Ebbers H.C.,University Utrecht | Muenzberg M.,Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals | Schellekens H.,University Utrecht
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy | Year: 2012

Introduction: The approval of several biosimilars in the past years has prompted discussion on potential safety risks associated with switching to and from these products. It has been suggested that switching may lead to safety concerns. However, data is limited on the clinical effects of switching. Areas covered: In this review we provide an overview of data related to switching between human recombinant growth hormones, erythropoietins and granulocyte colony stimulating agents. We reviewed data from clinical trials, pharmacovigilance databases and an overview of the literature on the frequency of switching between these products. The review covers both switching between innovator products within the same product class and switching to and from biosimilars. Expert opinion: Data on the frequency of switching in clinical practice is scarce, but it seems most frequent for erythropoietins. We have found no evidence from clinical trial data or post marketing surveillance data that switching to and from different biopharmaceuticals leads to safety concerns. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd. Source

McCamish M.,Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals
mAbs | Year: 2011

Limited access for high-quality biologics due to cost of treatment constitutes an unmet medical need in the United States (US) and other regions of the world. The term "biosimilar" is used to designate a follow-on biologic that meets extremely high standards for comparability or similarity to the originator biologic drug that is approved for use in the same indications. Use of biosimilar products has already decreased the cost of treatment in many regions of the world, and now a regulatory pathway for approval of these products has been established in the US. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) led the world with the regulatory concept of comparability, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was the first to apply this to biosimilars. Patents on the more complex biologics, especially monoclonal antibodies, are now beginning to expire and biosimilar versions of these important medicines are in development. The new Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act allows the FDA to approve biosimilars, but it also allows the FDA to lead on the formal designation of interchangeability of biosimilars with their reference products. The FDA's approval of biosimilars is critical to facilitating patient access to high-quality biologic medicines, and will allow society to afford the truly innovative molecules currently in the global biopharmaceutical industry's pipeline. Source

Similar biotherapeutic products (SBPs) or biosimilars are biologics developed by pharmaceutical manufacturers to match originator biologics that have been on the market for a long time and lost their exclusivity (patent and market protection). The recently issued WHO guidelines on evaluation of SBPs provide clear guidance for manufacturers and regulators on how to develop and gain approval for these products.The present contribution illustrates the rationale for and general principles of the clinical programs used in the development of SBPs, taking the example of the three biosimilar products developed and marketed in Europe by Sandoz, namely growth hormone (Omnitrope ®, the first ever EU biosimilar approval), erythropoietin α (Binocrit ®), and filgrastim (Zarzio ®). © 2011. Source

During development of recombinant monoclonal antibodies in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, C-terminal amidated species are observed. C-terminal amidation is catalysed by peptidylglycine α-amidating monooxygenase (PAM), an enzyme known to be expressed in CHO cells. The significant variations between clones during clone selection, and the relatively high content of amidated species (up to 15%) in comparison to reference material (4%), led us to develop a cell line with reduced production of C-terminal amidated monoclonal antibodies using genetic manipulation. Initial target validation was performed using the RNA interference approach against PAM, which resulted in a CHO cell line with C-terminal amidation decreased to 3%. Due to the transient effects of small-interfering RNAs, and possible stability problems using short-hairpin RNAs, we knocked-down the PAM gene using zinc finger nucleases. Plasmid DNA and mRNA for zinc finger nucleases were used to generate a PAM knock-out, which resulted in two CHO cell lines with C-terminal amidation decreased to 6%, in CHO Der2 and CHO Der3 cells. Two genetically modified cell lines were generated using a zinc finger nuclease approach to decrease C-terminal amidation on recombinant monoclonal antibodies. These two cell lines now represent a pool from which the candidate clone with the highest comparability to the reference molecule can be selected, for production of high-quality and safe therapeutics. Source

Windisch J.,Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals
International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology | Year: 2015

Due to the expiry of patents for biological pharmaceuticals, in forthcoming years there will be an increase in the approval of biosimilars by the international health authorities. The aims are an understanding of the natural variability of biological substances and the clinical relevance of the diverse product attributes, proof of comparability (similarity) as a self-contained concept in the development and approval of biosimilars and importance of extrapolation to other indications when comparability is demonstrated by comprehensive analytical and functional studies. Strict requirements by the European Medicines Agency guarantee the highest quality standards, which have led to significant savings in the healthcare system and an expansion of access to biological pharmaceuticals in many countries and for many patients. © 2015 Future Medicine Ltd. Source

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