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Biologicals. 2011 Sep;39(5):289-92. doi: 10.1016/j.biologicals.2011.08.006. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

Experience of reviewing the follow-on biologics including Somatropin and erythropoietin in Japan.

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Office of Biologics I, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), 3-3-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


To share the experience of reviewing clinical data required for the licensing of follow-on biologic products (biosimilar products and similar biotherapeutical products as EU and WHO terminology, respectively) in Japan, the data packages of two follow-on biologics, "Somatropin BS s.c. [Sandoz] (Omnitrope®)" and "Epoetin alfa BS [JCR]", which have been recently approved in Japan according to the "Guidelines for the Quality, Safety and Efficacy Assurance of Follow-on Biologics" published on March 4th 2009, are described. The clinical data package and indication of Somatropin BS/Omnitrope(®) were different in each country. In case of Epoetin alfa BS [JCR], non-clinical and clinical data-package was different from those of erythropoietin biosimilar products approved in EU. Submission of post-marketing surveillance plans for both products was required. Even though there seem to be differences in data requirements by each national regulatory authority, the accumulation of experience will provide the rationale and consensus on how to design the clinical trials for follow-on biologics.

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