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How Biologics Lead to Biosimilars

Biologics have advanced patient care by providing highly effective, targeted treatment across multiple life-threatening and chronic diseases in hundreds of thousands of patients. As such, by 2015, 8 of the 10 top-selling medications are expected to be biologics.1,2

Biologics are large-molecule products that contain proteins from living cells. Today, more patients than ever benefit from biologics in several therapeutic areas3-7:

  • Oncology
  • Inflammation/Immunology
  • Rheumatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Diabetes
  • Neurology
  • Inherited conditions


The Potential of Biosimilars

Biosimilars are defined as highly similar versions of marketed biologic therapies in terms of structure, efficacy, and safety.

Biosimilars can broaden the number of treatment options for patients, physicians and payers in many markets.

Biosimilars also have the potential to generate savings and efficiencies for health care systems.



  1. McCamish M, Woollett G. Worldwide experience with biosimilar development. mAbs. 2011;3(2):209-217.
  2. Silverman E. Drug pipeline loses pressure. Managed Care. August 2010. Accessed March 2014.
  3. AARP Fact Sheet #155. Biologics in Perspective: The Case for Generic Biologic Drugs. May 2009. Accessed online:
  4. Walsh G. Biopharmaceutical benchmarks 2010. Nature Biotechnol. 2010;28(9):917-924.
  5. Humira [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: Abbott Laboratories; 2012.
  6. Enbrel [package insert]. Thousand Oaks, CA: Immunex Corporation; 2012.
  7. Genetics Home Reference. Accessed March 2014.