The number of abstracts addressing biosimilars at the ACR 2016 meeting in Washington DC is a testament to the growing evidence base and experience with these products in rheumatology. This year, there were no less than 30 abstracts describing a plethora of biosimilars that are being evaluated - or that are already being used in the clinical setting - for the treatment of various rheumatologic diseases. This is more than double the number of abstracts on biosimilars that was presented at the ACR 2015 meeting.
To date, a small number of biosimilars have been approved for use in rheumatologic diseases but there is a long list of other candidates awaiting regulatory approval or that are in late stages of clinical development. Data were presented at the ACR 2016 for a wide variety of biosimilars to bio-innovator biologics that are commonly used in rheumatology, including infliximab, adalimumab, etanercept, and rituximab. The types of studies presented at ACR 2016 spanned the gamut from pharmacokinetic studies to Phase 3 RCTs, and from real-world observational and registry data on non-medical switching to qualitative data outlining patient perspectives regarding biosimilars.
Oral sessions and posters reporting on biosimilars have been well attended at the ACR 2016, perhaps reflecting clinicians' interest in staying up-to-date on the changing landscape of biologic treatments for rheumatic diseases.