Totality of Scientific Evidence in the Development of ABP 980, a Biosimilar to Trastuzumab

Hans Christian Kolberg, Marco Colleoni, Patricia Santi, Georgia Savva Demetriou, Miguel Angel Segui-Palmer, Yasuhiro Fujiwara, Sara A. Hurvitz, Vladimir Hanes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


ABP 980 was developed as a biosimilar to trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), that is indicated for the treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, early breast cancer (EBC), and metastatic gastric cancer. ABP 980 is approved in the United States, European Union, and Japan for all the indications of trastuzumab, based on the totality of evidence (TOE) gathered by the systematic step-wise accumulation of comparative analytical, preclinical, and clinical (pharmacokinetics [PK], efficacy, safety and immunogenicity) data for ABP 980 and trastuzumab reference product (RP). As a key first step of the ABP 980 biosimilar program, comprehensive analytical characterization of critical quality attributes established that ABP 980 is structurally and functionally similar to trastuzumab RP. Complementing these data, results of non-clinical pharmacology, toxicology, and toxicokinetic studies supported similarity between ABP 980 and trastuzumab RP. A randomized study in healthy subjects demonstrated clinical PK equivalence of ABP 980 relative to trastuzumab RP in these subjects. In the final clinical evaluation step, a randomized comparative study (LILAC) confirmed the lack of clinically meaningful differences between ABP 980 and trastuzumab RP in efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity in women with HER2-positive EBC in the neoadjuvant–adjuvant setting. Neoadjuvant EBC represented a sensitive homogenous population for biosimilar demonstrations, and the primary endpoint of pathologic complete response served as a sensitive surrogate endpoint. An important aspect of the LILAC study design is that it is the only study that evaluated the effect of switching from the trastuzumab RP to a trastuzumab biosimilar during the adjuvant phase. No new or unexpected safety signals emerged in the clinical evaluations, with the safety profile of ABP 980 consistent with that previously described for trastuzumab. Overall, the TOE data generated for ABP 980 support the conclusion that it is highly similar to trastuzumab RP, thus providing the scientific justification for extrapolation to all the approved indications of trastuzumab.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-656
Number of pages10
JournalTargeted Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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