Switch From Remicade to Celltrion’s Biosimilar CT-P13 Safe in IBD, Clinical Trial Concludes

Switch From Remicade to Celltrion’s Biosimilar CT-P13 Safe in IBD, Clinical Trial Concludes
Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may safely switch from Remicade (infliximab) to its biosimilar version CT-P13 — sold as Remsima and Inflectra — according to recently published clinical trial results. Since many healthcare systems advocate switching to biosimilars because they're cheaper, these findings should go a long way in assuring patients and their physicians contemplating the switch. The study, “Switching from originator infliximab to biosimilar CT-P13 compared with maintained treatment with originator infliximab (NOR-SWITCH): a 52-week, randomised, double-blind, non-inferiority trial,” appeared in The Lancet. Although its findings can be viewed as a victory for biosimilars, researchers stressed that the study pertains only to CT-P13, made by South Korea's Celltrion Healthcare. “The publication of the NOR-SWITCH data in The Lancet marks another important milestone on the path to increasing physician confidence in using biosimilar infliximab when looking to switch their patients,” a Celltron official said in a press release. Since no two antibodies are identical — even if they target the same structure — copies of biological drugs are called biosimilars. As biosimilar versions of biological drugs usually come with a cheaper price tag, it is common practice for healthcare systems to promote their use. But patients, stable on the original drug — and their physicians — might be reluctant to switch. Although biosimilars must go through clinical trials showing that they are, in fact, similar, data is lacking about the safety of switching from the original to a biosimilar version of a drug. The NOR-SWITCH study (NCT02148640), funded by the Norwegian government, involved 482 patients, 241 of whom continued treatm
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