Statistical Considerations in the Design of Biosimilar Cancer Clinical Trials

  • Received : 20110400
  • Accepted : 20110500
  • Published : 2011.06.30


When a patent of an innovative (brand-name) small-molecule drug expires, generic copies of the innovative drug may be marketed if their therapeutic equivalence to the innovative drug has been shown. The small-molecule drugs are considered therapeutically equivalent and can be used interchangeably if two drugs are shown to be pharmaceutically equivalent with identical active substance and bioequivalent with comparable pharmacokinetics in a crossover clinical trial. However, the therapeutic equivalence paradigm cannot be applied to biosimilars since the active ingredients of biosimilars are huge molecules with complex and heterogeneous structures, and these molecules are difficult to replicate in every detail. The European Medicine Agency(EMEA) has introduced a regulatory biosimilar pathway which mandates clinical trials to show therapeutic equivalence. In this paper, we discuss statistical considerations in the design and analysis of biosimilar cancer clinical trials.




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