Sandoz, a Novartis division and leader in biosimilars, announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Arthritis Advisory Committee recommended approval of its proposed biosimilar etanercept. The committee voted unanimously (20-0), in support of biosimilar etanercept for all five indications of the reference product, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), plaque psoriasis (PsO), psoriatic psoriasis (PsA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
“We are encouraged by today’s favorable advisory committee recommendation for our proposed biosimilar etanercept,” said Mark McCamish, M.D., Ph.D., Head of Global Biopharmaceutical Development, Sandoz. “As a global market leader in biosimilars, we are pleased to move one step closer toward our goal of expanding patient access with our proposed biosimilar etanercept, and look forward to continuing to work with the FDA as they complete their review of our application.”
The recommendation was provided after the presentation of data from a global development program including analytical, pre-clinical and clinical studies of the Sandoz biosimilar etanercept, which demonstrated biosimilarity to the reference product. Clinical studies included four comparative pharmacokinetic (PK) studies in 216 healthy volunteers and a confirmatory efficacy and safety similarity study in 531 patients with chronic plaque psoriasis.
The FDA frequently seeks the advice of its advisory committees as it reviews and decides whether to approve applications, although the agency does not always follow their recommendations.
In December 2015, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepted Sandoz Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for its biosimilar to Amgen’s EU-licensed Enbrel®, which seeks approval for the same indications as the reference product.
Sandoz is committed to providing patient access to high-quality, life-enhancing biosimilars. It is the pioneer and global market leader and currently markets three biosimilars worldwide. Sandoz has a leading pipeline with several biosimilars in late stage development, including assets in immunology and oncology. As part of the Novartis Group, Sandoz is well-positioned to lead the biosimilars industry based on its experience and capabilities in development, manufacturing and commercialization.