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Herzuma, biosimilar of trastuzumab, now available in Europe.

The Mundipharma global network of independent associated companies has announced that Herzuma, biosimilar trastuzumab, is now available in Europe, with the product now launched in both the UK and Germany and further launches across European countries anticipated in the coming months.

Herzuma, a biosimilar of i.v. Herceptin®, was granted marketing authorisation on 9 February 2018 for the treatment of patients with early breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer or metastatic gastric cancer whose tumours have either HER2 overexpression or HER2 gene amplification, following positive opinion and recommendation for approval by the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) in December 2017.

Biosimilar trastuzumab has the potential to make significant cost savings for healthcare organisations, releasing healthcare resource for other innovative medicines.

Herzuma will be available as a 150 mg powder for concentrate for solution for infusion. The active substance of Herzuma is trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds with high affinity and specificity to HER2 leading to the inhibition of proliferation of tumour cells that overexpress HER2.

The full indication is:

Metastatic breast cancer

Herzuma is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC):

  • as monotherapy for the treatment of those patients who have received at least two chemotherapy regimens for their metastatic disease. Prior chemotherapy must have included at least an anthracycline and a taxane unless patients are unsuitable for these treatments. Hormone receptor positive patients must also have failed hormonal therapy, unless patients are unsuitable for these treatments.
  • in combination with paclitaxel for the treatment of those patients who have not received chemotherapy for their metastatic disease and for whom an anthracycline is not suitable.
  • in combination with docetaxel for the treatment of those patients who have not received chemotherapy for their metastatic disease.
  • in combination with an aromatase inhibitor for the treatment of postmenopausal patients with hormone-receptor positive MBC, not previously treated with trastuzumab.

Early breast cancer 

Herzuma is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with HER2 positive early breast cancer (EBC):

  • following surgery, chemotherapy (neoadjuvant or adjuvant) and radiotherapy (if applicable).
  • following adjuvant chemotherapy with doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, in combination with paclitaxel or docetaxel.
  • in combination with adjuvant chemotherapy consisting of docetaxel and carboplatin.
  • in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by adjuvant Herzuma therapy, for locally advanced (including inflammatory) disease or tumours > 2 cm in diameter.

Herzuma should only be used in patients with metastatic or early breast cancer whose tumours have either HER2 overexpression or HER2 gene amplification as determined by an accurate and validated assay.

Metastatic gastric cancer

Herzuma in combination with capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with HER2 positive metastatic adenocarcinoma of the stomach or gastro-esophageal junction who have not received prior anti-cancer treatment for their metastatic disease.

Herzuma should only be used in patients with metastatic gastric cancer (MGC) whose tumours have HER2 overexpression as defined by IHC2+ and a confirmatory SISH or FISH result, or by an IHC 3+ result. Accurate and validated assay methods should be used.”

It is proposed that Herzuma should only be initiated by a physician experienced in the administration of cytotoxic chemotherapy, and should be administered by a healthcare professional only.

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