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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 8;9(1):e83757. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083757. eCollection 2014.

Comparing the biological impact of glatiramer acetate with the biological impact of a generic.

Author information

1
Immuneering Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America.
2
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Petach Tikva, Israel.

Abstract

For decades, policies regarding generic medicines have sought to provide patients with economical access to safe and effective drugs, while encouraging the development of new therapies. This balance is becoming more challenging for physicians and regulators as biologics and non-biological complex drugs (NBCDs) such as glatiramer acetate demonstrate remarkable efficacy, because generics for these medicines are more difficult to assess. We sought to develop computational methods that use transcriptional profiles to compare branded medicines to generics, robustly characterizing differences in biological impact. We combined multiple computational methods to determine whether differentially expressed genes result from random variation, or point to consistent differences in biological impact of the generic compared to the branded medicine. We applied these methods to analyze gene expression data from mouse splenocytes exposed to either branded glatiramer acetate or a generic. The computational methods identified extensive evidence that branded glatiramer acetate has a more consistent biological impact across batches than the generic, and has a distinct impact on regulatory T cells and myeloid lineage cells. In summary, we developed a computational pipeline that integrates multiple methods to compare two medicines in an innovative way. This pipeline, and the specific findings distinguishing branded glatiramer acetate from a generic, can help physicians and regulators take appropriate steps to ensure safety and efficacy.

PMID:
24421904
PMCID:
PMC3885444
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0083757
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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