Clinical safety of biosimilar recombinant human erythropoietins

Ivo Abraham, Karen MacDonald
Expert Opinion on Drug Safety 2012, 11 (5): 819-40

INTRODUCTION: A "biosimilar" or "similar biological medicinal product" is a biological agent that is similar in terms of quality, safety, and efficacy to an authorized reference biological medicine. Since the expiration of the epoetin alfa patent in Europe, three agents have received marketing authorization from the European Medicines Agency: Binocrit (epoetin alfa; aka Abseamed and Epoetin Alfa Hexal), Retacrit (epoetin zeta; aka Silapo), and Eporatio (epoetin theta; aka Biopoin and Ratioepo).

AREAS COVERED: Using the EMA dossiers and journal publications, this article reviews clinical safety data for these products, with emphasis on serious/severe adverse events and a special consideration of immunogenicity, venous thromboembolism, and mortality.

EXPERT OPINION: A review of the available safety evidence shows that all three agents discussed have similar safety profiles. None were statistically higher on safety parameters to what is known about ESA as a class, when stratified by population. As with ESAs in general, immunogenicity, venous thromboembolism, and mortality are all concerns. What is known about ESAs regarding safety can be extended to biosimilar erythropoietins. Since biosimilars are unique, complex biological molecules, safety profiles may evolve from common to differentiated, once long-term product-specific safety data are available. Large-sample, long-term, observational studies of real-world practice will provide the heterogeneity and statistical power to demonstrate product-specific effectiveness and safety profiles. Statistically, out of the commercially available formulations of the three products reviewed, no single product is less or more safe.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"