Sample Size Calculations for the Development of Biosimilar Products Based on Binary Endpoints

  • Kang, Seung-Ho (Department of Applied Statistics, Yonsei University) ;
  • Jung, Ji-Yong (Department of Applied Statistics, Yonsei University) ;
  • Baik, Seon-Hye (Department of Applied Statistics, Yonsei University)
  • Received : 2015.06.17
  • Accepted : 2015.07.14
  • Published : 2015.07.31


It is important not to overcalculate sample sizes for clinical trials due to economic, ethical, and scientific reasons. Kang and Kim (2014) investigated the accuracy of a well-known sample size calculation formula based on the approximate power for continuous endpoints in equivalence trials, which has been widely used for Development of Biosimilar Products. They concluded that this formula is overly conservative and that sample size should be calculated based on an exact power. This paper extends these results to binary endpoints for three popular metrics: the risk difference, the log of the relative risk, and the log of the odds ratio. We conclude that the sample size formulae based on the approximate power for binary endpoints in equivalence trials are overly conservative. In many cases, sample sizes to achieve 80% power based on approximate powers have 90% exact power. We propose that sample size should be computed numerically based on the exact power.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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