On January 25, the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA’sCommittee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) released a document entitled “Concept paper for the development of a Reflection Paper on a tailored clinical approach in Biosimilar development”. 

The document expresses the EMA’s intent to streamline biosimilar development by re-evaluating the role of clinical safety and efficacy data; it also announces a three-month public consultation period running from February 1 to April 30, 2024. From the announcement:

Constantly striving for scientifically sound yet efficient processes, the Biosimilar regulatory framework has constantly been evolving towards increasingly tailored developments, starting from smaller and “simpler” biologics, such as recombinant Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor (rG-CSF), insulins or somatropin where the need for comparative clinical efficacy trials is in general not required any more. With growing knowledge and the increasing possibilities of analytical and functional characterisation, revisiting the need for clinical efficacy trials for biosimilars (especially recombinant proteins and mAbs) is considered the next important step in order to keep the Biosimilar pathway attractive for developers and, at the same time, guarantee future access to safe and efficacious biologics for European patients.

The CHMP recognizes that there may be the potential to waive certain clinical data requirements even for complex biosimilars such as mAbs based on solid evidence of quality comparability. When the biosimilar demonstrates a high degree of similarity to the RMP at the analytical and functional level, it may be possible to justify the omission of dedicated CES.

Comments may be submitted here until April 30, 2024.

Read the concept paper here.