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Do Patients Maintain Response on Biosimilars?

A recent study found most patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) who switched to an etanercept (Enbrel) biosimilar maintained low disease activity. However, the researchers said, “the proportion of participants who failed to maintain a state of low disease activity at the end of the study was statistically significant.”

Few studies have investigated the effectiveness of SB4, an etanercept biosimilar, in patients with PsA. In the study, 87 participants were treated with etanercept. After a year of treatment and achieving low disease activity, they were switched to SB4. The effectiveness of SB4 at maintaining low disease activity was assessed as the main outcome.
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While 76 participants (87.3%) maintained low disease activity 1 year after switching from etanercept to SB4, 11 participants did not maintain low disease activity, the researchers said.

The loss of effectiveness was mainly due to subjective evaluations given by participants as opposed to objectifiable exacerbations of disease, according to the researchers.


Bonifati C, De Felice C, Lora V, Morrone A, Graceffa D. Effectiveness of etanercept biosimilar SB4 in maintaining low disease activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis switched from etanercept originator: An open label one year study [published online April 15, 2019]. J Dermatolog Treat. doi:10.1080/09546634.2019.1606886

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