Michael Savin, MD
The path of biosimilars in oncology has been challenging, explained Michael Savin, MD, adding that although clinical trials for these agents are extensive and expensive to run, it will lead to more cost-effective measures in the field going forward.
, Savin discussed the emergence of biosimilars in oncology, and why there are still obstacles with incorporating them into clinical practice.
OncLive: What are your thoughts on the wave of biosimilars?
: It is an interesting field. It's been hard to get practicing oncologists engaged with it over the years, but that's changing now. We are getting to be more experienced with biosimilars; there has also been so much progress in seeing “me too” kind of drugs that actually are highly effective. Therefore, we are becoming more and more comfortable with the concept of a biosimilar—not just molecularly similar, but a biosimilar agent that targets pathways.
Part of the problem was that a few years ago when we were doing this, we didn't understand these pathways at all. We knew there were hormone receptors and we had a notion of how they drove the cells, but we didn’t have it at the level that we do now.
Can you highlight the early research with biosimilars that you were a part of?
That particular agent was a colon cancer biosimilar, and it turned out that it was made by the manufacturers who actually made the brand of drug used in this country, but we couldn’t get it going. Boehringer Ingelheim was the manufacturer. The drug was a receptor-blocking agent and we got this study going, but we didn’t accrue to it very well.
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