The Food and Drug Administration has approved rituximab-pvvr (Ruxience) for adults with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis. It is the first biosimilar approved to treat these two rare autoimmune conditions.
Specifically, the biosimilar product is approved as single-agent therapy for relapsed or refractory, low grade or follicular, CD20-positive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma; in combination with chemotherapy for other types of previously untreated CD20-positive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma; and as a single agent for nonprogressing, low-grade, CD20-positive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma after first-line chemotherapy treatment. It is also approved for both previously untreated and previously treated CD20-positive CLL in combination with chemotherapy. And it is approved for granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis in combination with glucocorticoids.
The approval is based on demonstration that rituximab-pvvr had no clinically meaningful differences in safety or efficacy when compared with the reference drug, rituximab (Rituxan), according to afrom the biosimilar’s developer. As with , rituximab-pvvr’s comes with an FDA boxed warning. In the biosimilar’s case, it warns against fatal infusion-related reactions, severe mucocutaneous reactions, hepatitis B virus reactivation, and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Other adverse reactions include fever, headache, neutropenia, and lymphopenia.