Recommendations for the Development and Validation of Neutralizing Antibody Assays in Support of Biosimilar Assessment


The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) biosimilar focus group on nonclinical and clinical assays has developed this manuscript to guide the industry on best practices and testing strategies when developing neutralizing antibody (NAb) assays for biosimilar programs. The immunogenicity assessment to biosimilar and originator drug products is one of the key aspects of clinical programs for biosimilars to demonstrate biosimilarity. Establishing that there are no clinically meaningful differences in immune response between a proposed product and the originator product is a key element in the demonstration of biosimilarity. It is critical to collect, evaluate, and compare the safety and immunogenicity data from the clinical pharmacology, safety, and/or efficacy studies especially when the originator drug product is known to have potential for immune-mediated toxicity. This manuscript aims to provide a comprehensive review and recommendations on assay formats, critical reagents, approaches to method development, and validation of the neutralizing antibody assays in extrapolation within the scope of biosimilar drug development programs. Even if there are multiple options on the development and validation of NAb assays for biosimilar programs, the type of drug and its MoA will help determine the assay format and technical platform for NAb assessment (e.g., cell-based or non-cell-based assay). We recommend to always perform a one-assay approach as it is better to confirm the biosimilarity using one-assay for NAb. If a one-assay approach is not feasible, then a two- assay format may be used. This manuscript will provide all the details necessary to develop NAb assays for biosimilars.

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