The biosimilar road in inflammatory bowel disease: The right way?

Gionata Fiorino, Silvio Danese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biologicals have led to dramatic changes in the management of immune-mediated diseases, and the subsequent development of their biosimilars may reduce the high costs of these agents. However, there remain concerns about the true equivalence of a biosimilar and its reference product, as well as around immunogenicity of these agents in IBD, although studies on rheumatoid arthritis support the similarity of biosimilars and their originators. Many of the biologicals are approved for multiple indications, but it is not always possible to extrapolate across indications for the corresponding biosimilars. For both reference agents and biosimilars, rare adverse events and long-term efficacy and safety can only be assessed through post marketing surveillance; therefore, particular emphasis should be placed on the traceability of these agents in clinical practice. Lastly, based on current data, biosimilars cannot be considered simple substitutes of reference products in IBD, unless demonstrated by well-designed randomized controlled trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-471
Number of pages7
JournalBailliere's Best Practice and Research in Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Biological products
  • Biosimilar pharmaceuticals
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Infliximab
  • Post marketing product surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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