Anthony R. Mato, MD, MSCE, discusses the introduction of rituximab biosimilars in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Anthony R. Mato, MD, MSCE, hematologic oncologist, director, CLL Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the introduction of rituximab (Rituxan) biosimilars in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
In July 2019, the FDA approved the biosimilar PF-05280586 (rituximab-pvvr; Ruxience) for patients with CD20-positive CLL in combination with chemotherapy. This biosimilar, as well as other rituximab biosimilars in development, could provide more clinical options.
Biosimilars should be interchangeable with biologics, explains Mato. Therefore, biosimilars for rituximab should have the same role as the biologic for rituximab in CLL. For example, the biosimilar should be made available to the same patient population that is prescribed rituximab. Moreover, the biosimilar could potentially be used in combination with regimens that have historically used rituximab, such as fludarabine/cyclophosphamide/rituximab or venetoclax (Venclexta).
Biosimilars should continue to be evaluated because they could reduce drug costs and improve patient access, concludes Mato.