Biosimilars - a new treatment pathway?

A relative gave me the Arthritis Research UK magazine and I found this article interesting, so thought I'd share. This could be positive news for us autoimmuners.

"New biological therapies for inflammatory arthritis continue to flood the market. With patents for the older anti-TNF-therapies, such as infliximab, due to expire in the next couple of years, a new class of cheaper, similar drugs will become available."

This part is also interesting:

"The first monoclonal antibody biosimilars have recently been licensed for use in the UK. Inflectra, marketed by Hospira and Remsima, manufactured by Celltrion, are essentially the same infliximab biosimilar of the original product Remicade, made by Johnson & Johnson. They have been approved by the EMA for the treatment of inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Although Inflectra and Remsima have been approved, a last minute extension of the original patent on Remicade means that they are now unlikely to be available in the UK before February 2015. When they finally hit the shelves, Inflectra and Remsima are predicted to be around 30% cheaper than the original drug. Another infliximab biosimilar, as well as several etanercept and rituximab biosimilars, are also currently in late stage clinical trials."

It also talks a bit about why some people do not respond to anti TNFs and research into finding genes and proteins that trigger the autoimmune responses, with the hope of moving towards a more individualised approach.

10 Replies

  • woo that should be good news as i feel so unwell taking metoject, , always in so much pain all the time as my rheum can not get it sorted for and will not let me have any new drug :(

  • It would be very welcome to have a cheaper alternative. These meds are SO expensive and you're always under threat of having them withdrawn if you don't meet the criteria, only to put you back to square one again!!

  • I am very worried that I will be given a biosimilar as these would come under the heading genetic. I am currently taking generic Leflunomide and have had to increase the dosage as it's not working as good. I already inject 50mg Entercept so don't fancy having to inject more.

    I too read this article when it came out and it worried me at the time and still does. I know the cost would be cheaper but if the drugs are less effective then it will cost the same if you have to have more dosage.

  • Can anyone advise how we can get the arthritis magazines, where can you buy them. I found the this to be very interesting, anything to give us hope for the future.

  • sign up on line and recieve it in your e-mail

  • Thank you chogie8 for the link,

  • NRAS magazines are available to all NRAS members to join NRAS visit or call 0845 458 3969

  • Thank you I will get in touch with them.

  • NRAS together with NASS, Psoriaris Association and NACC are planning to host a stakeholder event in April for many patient organisations, regulators and clinicians on this topic as it is still very much unchartered waters. Further information will be provided on our website and via our magazine in due course. It is important that people are kept fully informed and that patient organisations ensure your queries and concerns are heard and listened to. Keep in touch with NRAS for updates via

  • thanks for the link, really interesting info there. i have been on five previous bios before being prescribed Abatacept which is like a wonder drug for me. this article confirms that there is great help for us sufferers and for those who have the misfortune of being struck down with this awful disease. thanks again.

You may also like...