New Study Shows That Biosimilar Retacrit™ Effective in Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia

Hospira, the globe’s major supplier of injectable medicines and infusion technologies, reported today that the outcomes from the ORHEO research have been presented in BMC Cancer, and show that the firm’s European biosimilar epoetin, Retacrit™ (epoetin zeta) was efficient and well accepted in the management of chemotherapy-induced anemia in sufferers with solid tumors, lymphoma and myeloma.

The ORHEO research, performed in France to treat oncology patients struggling from chemotherapy-stimulated anemia because of malignancy, was a prospective, observational study in which 2,320 adult sufferers (99.9% receiving epoetin zeta) were analyzed with chemotherapy-stimulated anemia and solid tumors, lymphomas or myelomas. The major endpoint was the rate of response (described as a raise in haemoglobin (Hb) levels to at minimum 10 g/dL since inclusion visit; if there had been a raise in Hb levels of at least 1 g/dL since the inclusion visit; attaining target Hb levels set at start of research, without any blood transfusions in the three weeks before measurement) at plus three months. The ORHEO research confirmed that more than 80 % of sufferers getting Retacrit achieved a pre-described Hb reaction in a real-world clinical setting, and that this was managed at month six. Of the sufferers in the research, 17.1 % experienced an adverse event (AE), in line with rates generally seen for the reference product. Retacrit was well accepted in this research, with an overall rate of thrombotic events at 3.5 percent. In this observational study, no epoetin zeta-related deaths were claimed.

“Biosimilars have a significant role to perform in the long term of medicine, and because they are more affordable than their reference products, it is approximated they will save European healthcare systems in between €11.8 bn and €33.4 bn among 2007 and 2020,” stated Stan Bukofzer, Corporate VP and CMO, Hospira. “The ORHEO research offers essential data on how Retacrit is benefiting sufferers in the clinic, and helps to show the potential of biosimilar epoetins to benefit sufferers while decreasing healthcare costs.”

In addition to the main research, a post-hoc sub analysis of details from the ORHEO research has revealed that Retacrit was efficient and well accepted in elderly individuals, with patients aged 70 years and over having comparable experiences to young patients.  The sub analysis was provided last month at the International Symposium on Supportive Care in Cancer 2014, a joint conference of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and the International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO), organised in  USA.

Retacrit (epoetin zeta) was accepted in Europe in 2007 as a biosimilar drug to the reference biological product, epoetin alfa. Retacrit is an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent, which is designed to correct and manage red blood cell counts. Retacrit is used to:

  • Treat anaemia (low red blood cell counts) that is resulting in symptoms in sufferers with chronic renal failure (long-term, gradual decrease in the capability of the kidneys to work effectively) or other kidney issues;
  • Treat anaemia in adults getting chemotherapy to treat certain kinds of cancer and to decrease the need for blood transfusions;
  • Raise the amount of blood that sufferers with moderate anaemia can self-donate prior to surgery, so that their own blood can be provided back to them during or after surgery;
  • Decrease the need for blood transfusions in sufferers with moderate anaemia about to go through major bone surgery (such as a hip or knee replacement).