FDA Approves First Biosimilar to Pegfilgrastim to Decrease Cancer Treatment Infection Risk
On June 4, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pegfilgrastim-jmdb (Fulphila) as a biosimilar to pegfilgrastim (Neulasta) to decrease the chance of infection as suggested by febrile neutropenia in patients with non-myeloid cancer who are receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy that has a clinically significant incidence of febrile neutropenia.
Healthcare professionals should review the prescribing information (https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2018/761075s000lbl.pdf) in the labeling for detailed information about the approved uses.
The approval was based on comparisons of extensive structural and functional product characterization, animal data, human pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data, clinical immunogenicity, and other clinical safety and effectiveness data demonstrating that pegfilgrastim-jmdb is biosimilar to pegfilgrastim. Pegfilgrastim-jmdb has been approved as a biosimilar (https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/HowDrugsareDevelopedandApproved/ApprovalApplications/TherapeuticBiologicApplications/Biosimilars/ucm580419.htm), not as an interchangeable product (https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/HowDrugsareDevelopedandApproved/ApprovalApplications/TherapeuticBiologicApplications/Biosimilars/ucm580419.htm).
The most common side effects of pegfilgrastim-jmdb are bone pain and pain in extremities. Patients with a history of serious allergic reactions to human granulocyte colony-stimulating factors such as pegfilgrastim or filgrastim products should not take pegfilgrastim-jmdb. Serious side effects from treatment with pegfilgrastim-jmdb include rupture of the spleen, acute respiratory distress syndrome, serious allergic reactions including anaphylaxis, glomerulonephritis, leukocytosis, capillary leak syndrome, and the potential for tumor growth. Fatal sickle cell crises have occurred.
Healthcare professionals should report all serious adverse events suspected to be associated with the use of any medicine and device to FDA’s MedWatch Reporting System (https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=reporting.home) or by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.
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