9 August 2017
SB4 (Benepali, Brenzys) is a biosimilar of reference etanercept (ETN). In a randomised, double-blind, 52-week study, SB4 demonstrated comparable efficacy and safety to ETN in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The open-label extension period evaluated long-term efficacy, safety and immunogenicity when continuing SB4 versus switching from ETN to SB4.
In the randomised, double-blind phase, patients received weekly subcutaneous administration of 50 mg SB4 or ETN with background methotrexate for up to 52 weeks. Patients in the Czech Republic and Poland who completed the 52-week visit were enrolled in the open-label extension period and received SB4 for 48 additional weeks. Efficacy, safety and immunogenicity were assessed up to week 100.
Of 245 patients entering the extension period, 126 continued to receive SB4 (SB4/SB4) and 119 switched to SB4 (ETN/SB4). American College of Rheumatology (ACR) response rates were sustained and comparable between SB4/SB4 and ETN/SB4 with ACR20 response rates at week 100 of 77.9% and 79.1%, respectively. Other efficacy results, including radiographic progression, were also comparable between the groups. After week 52, rates of treatment-emergent adverse events were 47.6% (SB4/SB4) and 48.7% (ETN/SB4); one patient/group developed non-neutralising antidrug antibodies. No cases of active tuberculosis or injection-site reactions were reported during the extension period. One patient (SB4/SB4) died of hepatic cancer.
SB4 was effective and well tolerated over 2 years in patients with RA. Efficacy, safety and immunogenicity were comparable between the SB4/SB4 and ETN/SB4 groups, showing no risk associated with switching patients from ETN to SB4.