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Remicade (infliximab) was approved in 1998 for the treatment of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Infliximab is a biologic drug, as opposed to a chemical drug. Biologic drugs are genetically engineered proteins derived from human genes, and are manufactured in a living system. Conversely, chemical drugs are manufactured by chemical synthesis (the combination of specific chemical ingredients in a specific way).

Pharmaceutical companies often have patents in place to ensure exclusivity of their product (whether biologic or chemical). As you may be aware, once a patent has expired for a chemical drug, generic versions are able to be manufactured and sold as an alternative to the initial branded product (this often drives down the price as a result, making the drug more freely available to patients). Generics, by definition, are the exact chemical equivalent of the chemical drug, and are manufactured in the same way, but the term ‘generic’ cannot be used in the same way to apply to biologic drugs; instead, we use the term ‘biosimilar’. This is because the development of a biologic is less straightforward, predictable and consists of many more variables. As such, it is impossible to replicate the process exactly and in its entirety. However, the important thing to remember is that both biosimilars and generics must have the same quality, safety and efficacy as the initial product.

Because of the recent expiry of the patent for the biologic drug Remicade (infliximab), Samsung Bioepis Co. Ltd. announced (March 16th 2015) that its infliximab biosimilar candidate has been submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval. If approved, the effect that this biosimilar would have on the lives of patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is significant and positive: patients would be provided with an important new treatment option, since competition between drug companies would drive down the prices, thus making this treatment option more freely available and affordable.



At West Kent Gastroenterology, we work hard to provide our patients with top-class care. You will enjoy friendly, fast and modern treatment by a highly experienced gastroenterologist. We carefully review patient satisfaction and feedback, and at West Kent Gastroenterology we are continuously making improvements to our services, ensuring the highest level of care possible.

Clinic Locations

Nuffield Hospital
Kingswood Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4UL

Spire Hospital
Fordcombe Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 0RD

Sevenoaks Medical Centre
London Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2JD

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@dradamharris - 1 week

Eosinophilic oesophagits (EoE) is getting more common; the reasons for this are unclear. There is an inverse relati…

@dradamharris - 1 week

Thanks Jonny, Miles's excellent talk is summarised here:

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