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Dr. Hurvitz on Biosimilars in Breast Cancer

Sara Hurvitz, MD
Published: Monday, Apr 23, 2018



Sara Hurvitz, MD, director of the Breast Oncology Program, medical director of the Clinical Research Unit, University of California, Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses biosimilars in breast cancer.

Biosimilars are drugs that are similar to biologic agents that are already FDA approved, but they are a little bit different from generic drugs, Hurvitz says. Generic drugs are equivalent chemical structures. Biologic agents are very complicated, large, protein-based molecules developed in cell lines and cannot be exact replicas of one another.

Biologic agents account for billions of dollars of spending in healthcare, and access to these agents is limited worldwide. Biosimilar agents have the advantage of being much less expensive. There are several biosimilars that that have been approved in Europe and the United States, including biosimilars for trastuzumab (Herceptin), bevacizumab (Avastin), and the granulocyte colony stimulating factor filgrastim (Neupogen). As biologics come off patent in the next few years, Hurvitz says it is likely that the clinical use of biosimilars in the United States will become more routine.


Sara Hurvitz, MD, director of the Breast Oncology Program, medical director of the Clinical Research Unit, University of California, Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses biosimilars in breast cancer.

Biosimilars are drugs that are similar to biologic agents that are already FDA approved, but they are a little bit different from generic drugs, Hurvitz says. Generic drugs are equivalent chemical structures. Biologic agents are very complicated, large, protein-based molecules developed in cell lines and cannot be exact replicas of one another.

Biologic agents account for billions of dollars of spending in healthcare, and access to these agents is limited worldwide. Biosimilar agents have the advantage of being much less expensive. There are several biosimilars that that have been approved in Europe and the United States, including biosimilars for trastuzumab (Herceptin), bevacizumab (Avastin), and the granulocyte colony stimulating factor filgrastim (Neupogen). As biologics come off patent in the next few years, Hurvitz says it is likely that the clinical use of biosimilars in the United States will become more routine.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Advent of Oncology Monoclonal Antibody Biosimilars ‒ A European Perspective OnlineNov 30, 20183.0
Community Practice Connections™: Evaluating the Emerging Role of Biosimilar Agents for the Treatment of Hematologic MalignanciesMar 08, 20193.0
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