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FDA Approves Mvasi (Bevacizumab-awwb)—The First Biosimilar for the Treatment of Cancer

Approval based on totality of evidence from global development program showing Mvasi is highly similar to Genentech’s Avastin

The FDA has approved Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb, Amgen/Allergan) as a biosimilar to Avastin (bevacizumab, Genentech) for the treatment of multiple types of cancer. Mvasi is the first biosimilar approved in the U.S. for the treatment of cancer.

Mvasi is approved for the treatment of adult patients with certain colorectal, lung, brain, kidney, and cervical cancers. Specifically, the approved indications include:

  • Metastatic colorectal cancer, in combination with intravenous 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy for first- or second-line treatment. Mvasi is not indicated for the adjuvant treatment of surgically resected colorectal cancer.
  • Metastatic colorectal cancer, in combination with fluoropyrimidine-irinotecan- or fluoropyrmidine-oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy for the second-line treatment of patients who have progressed on a first-line bevacizumab product-containing regimen. Mvasi is not indicated for the adjuvant treatment of surgically resected colorectal cancer.
  • Non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel for first line treatment of unresectable, locally advanced, recurrent, or metastatic disease.
  • Glioblastoma with progressive disease following prior therapy, based on improvement in objective response rate. No data is available demonstrating improvement in disease-related symptoms or survival with bevacizumab products.
  • Metastatic renal cell carcinoma, in combination with interferon alfa.
  • Cervical cancer that is persistent, recurrent, or metastatic, in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan.

Health care professionals should review the prescribing information in the labeling for detailed information about the approved uses.

Biological products are generally derived from a living organism and can come from many sources, such as humans, animals, microorganisms, or yeast. A biosimilar is a biological product that is approved based on data showing that it is highly similar to an already-approved biological product and has no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety, purity, and potency (i.e., safety and effectiveness) from the reference product, in addition to meeting other criteria specified by law.

The FDA’s approval of Mvasi is based on review of evidence that included extensive structural and functional characterization, animal study data, human pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics data, clinical immunogenicity data, and other clinical safety and effectiveness data that demonstrates Mvasi is biosimilar to Avastin. It has been approved as a biosimilar, not as an interchangeable product.

Like Avastin, the labeling for Mvasi contains a boxed warning to alert health care professionals and patients about an increased risk of gastrointestinal perforations; surgery and wound healing complications; and severe or fatal pulmonary, gastrointestinal, central nervous system and vaginal bleeding (hemorrhage).

Common expected side effects of Mvasi include epistaxis, headache, hypertension, rhinitis, proteinuria, taste alteration, dry skin, rectal bleeding (hemorrhage), lacrimation disorder, back pain, and exfoliative dermatitis. Serious expected side effects of Mvasi include holes in or abnormal connection between two organs (perforation or fistula), arterial and venous thromboembolic events, hypertension, problems in brain function or structure (posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome), proteinuria, infusion-related reactions, and ovarian failure. Patients should stop using Mvasi if these side effects become severe or life-threatening. Women who are pregnant should not take Mvasi because it may cause harm to a developing fetus.

Source: FDA; September 14, 2017.

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