Junya Tani 1 , Yae Ito 1 , Satoshi Tatemichi 2 , Makoto Yamakami 1 , Tsuyoshi Fukui 1 , Yukichi Hatano 1 , Shinji Kakimoto 3 , Ayaka Kotani 3 , Atsushi Sugimura 1 , Kazutoshi Mihara 1 , * , Ryuji Yamamoto 1 , Noboru Tanaka 1 , Kohtaro Minami 1 , * , Kenichi Takahashi 1 , Tohru Hirato 1
17 April 2020
Renal anemia is predominantly caused by a relative deficiency in erythropoietin (EPO). Conventional treatment for renal anemia includes the use of recombinant human EPO (rhEPO) or a long-acting erythropoiesis-activating agent named darbepoetin alfa, which is a modified rhEPO with a carbohydrate chain structure that differs from native hEPO. We have developed a biosimilar to darbepoetin alfa designated JR-131. Here, we comprehensively compare the physicochemical and biological characteristics of JR-131 to darbepoetin alfa. JR-131 demonstrated similar protein structure to the originator, darbepoetin alfa, by peptide mapping and circular dichroism spectroscopy. Additionally, mass spectroscopic analyses and capillary zone electrophoresis revealed similar glycosylation patterns between the two products. Human bone marrow-derived erythroblasts differentiated and proliferated to form colonies with JR-131 to a similar degree as darbepoetin alfa. Finally, JR-131 stimulated erythropoiesis and improved anemia in rats similarly to darbepoetin alfa. Our data show the similarity in physicochemical and biological properties of JR-131 to those of darbepoetin alfa, and JR-131 therefore represents a biosimilar for use in the treatment of renal anemia.