Evolving biosimilar clinical requirements: A qualitative interview study with industry experts and European national medicines agency regulators

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Background: A biosimilar is a biological medicine highly similar to another already approved biological medicine (reference product). The availability of biosimilars promotes competition and subsequently lower prices. Changing the current biosimilar clinical comparability trial requirements may lead to lower biosimilar development costs that potentially could increase patients’ access to biologics.
Objective: The aim was to determine the perceptions of industry and medicines agency regulators regarding the value, necessity, and future developments of the European biosimilar clinical comparability trial requirements for establishing biosimilarity.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight European national medicines agency regulators and 17 pharmaceutical company employees or consultants with experience in biologics between September 2018 and August 2019. Data were subjected to content analysis.
Results: In general, the participants expected that clinical comparability trial requirements will continue to be reduced, in particular based on advancements in analytical testing and knowledge generated from prior biosimilar approvals. However, there are also competing issues at play, such as competition, physician’s trust, and ethical considerations. Participants also reported that any new initiative to reduce or waive biosimilar clinical requirements needs to be scientifcally sound and could potentially lower biosimilar development costs.
Conclusion: The main fndings are that biosimilar clinical comparability trial requirements are likely to change in the near future. Clarity is needed on how to ensure adequate correlation between physicochemical data, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies, and the drugs’ performance in the clinic, as well as how to continue sufcient immunogenicity assessment. Obtaining this clarity can facilitate regulatory assessment of the next biosimilars.
Sider (fra-til)351-361
StatusUdgivet - 2021

ID: 258374041