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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108

Abstract

ARGUELLES-ARIAS, Federico et al. Joint position statement by "Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva" (Spanish Society of Gastroenterology) and "Sociedad Española de Farmacología" (Spanish Society of Pharmacology) on biosimilar therapy for inflammatory bowel disease. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2013, vol.105, n.1, pp.37-43. ISSN 1130-0108.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S1130-01082013000100006.

Biological drugs or biopharmaceutical products, manufactured with or from living organisms using biotechnology, have represented a therapeutic revolution for the control of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). At present, in this indication and in our country, only two biologicals are approved, infliximab (IFX) and adalimumab (ADA), both of them monoclonal antibodies against tumor necrosis factor alpha. Effectiveness data are strong for both therapies, with maximum levels of scientific evidence. The upcoming expiry date for these biologicals' patents has allowed the potential marketing of so-called biosimilar agents for the IBD indication. While biosimilars are conceptually for biologicals what generics are for chemical drugs, the structural complexity of biosimilars and their biological and manufacturing variability lead to consider validation processes for these two types in humans as highly differential. Thus, in our setting, under the coverage of "Agencia Española del Medicamento y Productos Sanitarios (AEMPS)" (Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices), guidelines issued by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are to be applied, which states that a number of stages or steps must be overcome in order to obtain approval for a biosimilar agent. However, despite the presence of these recommendations by EMA, which must be met by a biosimilar in order to be licensed in our marketplace, relevant uncertainties persist that only future decisions by EMA and AEMPS may clarify. The present stance by our task force is that biosimilar development should be undertaken according to established regulations, thus certifying their efficacy and safety. Similarly, this task force considers that results obtained from studies in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) should not be extrapolated to IBD since the biological variability of these complex structures will not ensure a lack of noticeable changes in efficacy and safety.

Keywords : Inflammatory bowel disease; Crohn's disease; Ulcerative colitis; Biosimilairs; Infliximab; Adalimumab; Spanish Society of Gastroenterology.

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