Rituximab biosimilar launched in UK

Truxima (rituximab) is the first available biosimilar version of the B-cell-targeting monoclonal antibody rituximab.

Truxima is approved for the same indications as MabThera, the originator brand of rituximab: follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, rheumatoid arthritis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis.

Rituximab binds to CD20, a transmembrane antigen expressed on pre-B and mature B lymphocytes. Binding leads to death of B-cells via cell lysis and apoptosis.

Clinical studies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and advanced-stage follicular lymphoma have demonstrated that Truxima is comparable to MabThera in terms of safety, immunogenicity and pharmacokinetics. Similar efficacy to MabThera has also been demonstrated in rheumatoid arthritis.

Biosimilar medicines should be prescribed by brand, according to MHRA advice.

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