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Monoclonal antibodies, doctors are wary of generics

The prospect of switching from the 'name brand' monoclonal antibody to its equivalent version is not an automatic step for all oncologists. Indeed, according to a survey by the BioTends Research Group, when biosimilars of intelligent anticancer drugs such as rituximab (blockbuster from the Swiss Roche) become available, a good percentage of oncologists may have some hesitation in making the 'switch'.

The research has shown that around one in four French oncologists will adopt a cautious approach, taking all the time necessary to consider whether or not to switch to generic 'mAbs'. The number of distrustful rises to one doctor in 3 in Germany, reaching 42-45% in the USA. "The 74-80% of the American oncologists interviewed expects to prescribe the biosimilar versions of ESA and GCsf", erythropoiesis-stimulating therapies and growth factors, "within a year of market launch", explains Andrew Merron, director of Biosimilars Advisory Services.

Yet "only 54-61% plans to do the same with monoclonal antibody biosimilars." These products are the real challenge for companies active in the bioequivalent sector, which could see their revenues reduced due to 'resistance' from the medical world. However, despite a possible slow take-off, BioTrends expects the market for biosimilar 'mAbs' to approach $5 billion by 2021.

Paola Olgiati – 31 October 2012 – PharmaKronos


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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco