Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 152  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 456-467

Similar biologics in India: A story of access or potential for compromise?

1 Department of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Vikram Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Rheumatology, GD Hospital & Diabetes Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Rheumatology, Madras Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Rheumatology, Max Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi, India
5 Medical Affairs, Janssen, Johnson & Johnson Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ramesh Jois
Department of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, Vikram Hospital, Millers Road, Bengaluru 560 052, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_43_18

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Biosimilars or similar biotherapeutic products are the biological products approved by regulatory agencies based on the demonstration of similarity in quality, safety and efficacy with reference biologics (or original biologics). Though biosimilars could be considered as interchangeable therapeutic alternatives over original biologics, there are concerns regarding their similarity in effectiveness and safety with reference product along with the level of evidence of similarity required for approval. The biosimilars, particularly, monoclonal antibodies that are developed based on the complex manufacturing processes, require stringent comparative evaluations. The Indian Regulatory Authorities in July 2012 developed the first guidelines for approval of similar biologics, which comprised requirements for the manufacturing process, quality evaluation, preclinical and clinical studies, as well as post-marketing studies. The 2016 guidelines, an update to previous guidelines, were released with the intent to provide a well-defined pathway at par with international regulations for the approval of similar biologics in India. This article highlights the key attributes of the 2016 Regulatory Guidelines and also describes the aspects such as interchangeability, nomenclature and labelling of similar biologics in India. Rigorous consideration is imperative for highly complex similar biologics of monoclonal antibodies on a case-to-case basis.

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