The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ustekinumab-auub (Wezlana) as a biosimilar to ustekinumab (Stelara) for the treatment of multiple inflammatory conditions. This is the first approval for a ustekinumab biosimilar in the United States.
Ustekinumab-auub was also granted an interchangeability designation, meaning that, depending on state law, a pharmacist may substitute the biosimilar for the reference product without consulting the prescribing provider.
“Today’s approval exemplifies the FDA’s longstanding commitment to support a competitive marketplace for biological products,” Sarah Yim, MD, director of the Office of Therapeutic Biologics and Biosimilars in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. “This approval can empower patients by helping to increase access to safe, effective, and high-quality medications at potentially lower cost.”
Ustekinumab, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, targets interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 and was first approved in 2009. Ustekinumab-auub was developed by Amgen.
Ustekinumab-auub is approved for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy, active psoriatic arthritis, moderate to severely active Crohn’s disease, and moderate to severely active ulcerative colitis. It is also approved for pediatric patients aged 6 years and older with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy and active psoriatic arthritis.
The approval was based on “comprehensive review of scientific evidence,” including “comparisons of the products on an analytical level using an extensive battery of chemical and biological tests and biological assays that confirmed similarity in the structural and functional features of Wezlana and Stelara (including those known to impact safety and efficacy), and comparative human pharmacokinetic data, clinical immunogenicity data, and other clinical safety and effectiveness data,” the FDA said.
Some common side effects of ustekinumab-auub include nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, headache, fatigue, and nausea. The most severe side effect of the biosimilar, as with the reference drug ustekinumab, is infection.
The product launch of ustekinumab-auub will be delayed as a part of a settlement of Johnson & Johnson’s lawsuit against Amgen, according to Reuters. The details of the settlement are confidential, but it was stated that the biosimilar would be available by January 1, 2025.
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Publish date : 2023-11-01 16:15:21
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