FDA approves rituximab biosimilar for lymphoma


The Food and Drug Administration has approved a biosimilar rituximab product for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

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Celltrion’s Truxima (rituximab-abbs) is a biosimilar of Genentech’s Rituxan (rituximab) and the first biosimilar approved in the United States to treat NHL.

Truxima (formerly CT-P10) is approved to treat adults with CD20-positive, B-cell NHL, either as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy. Truxima is approved as a single agent to treat relapsed or refractory, low grade or follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL. Truxima is approved in combination with first-line chemotherapy to treat previously untreated follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL.

Truxima is approved as single-agent maintenance therapy in patients with follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL who achieve a complete or partial response to a rituximab product in combination with chemotherapy. Truxima also is approved as a single agent to treat nonprogressing, low-grade, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL after first-line treatment with cyclophosphamide, vincristine, and prednisone.The label for Truxima contains a boxed warning detailing the risk of fatal infusion reactions, severe skin and mouth reactions (some with fatal outcomes), hepatitis B virus reactivation that may cause serious liver problems (including liver failure and death), and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

The FDA said its approval of Truxima is “based on a review of evidence that included extensive structural and functional characterization, animal study data, human pharmacokinetic data, clinical immunogenicity data, and other clinical data that demonstrates Truxima is biosimilar to Rituxan.”

Findings from a phase 3 trial suggested that Truxima is equivalent to the reference product in patients with low-tumor-burden follicular lymphoma (Lancet Haematol. 2018 Nov;5[11]:e543-53).

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