NEW STUDY REPORT – The outcomes of switching from original Infliximab (Remicade) to the Biosimilar (Remsima)

We have recently published work (supported by the Foundation) in June of this year highlighting the results from one of our studies, undertaken by Lisa Gervais, IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist / Senior Research Nurse.

Infliximab is a medicine which is increasingly being used as a treatment option for paediatric inflammatory bowel disease (PIBD). We have previously used Remicade but in 2015 a different form of this medicine (known as a biosimilar) called Remsima, was introduced and is now widely used in clinical practice. There was extensive research in adults looking at patients who has switched from one type (Remicade) to the other (Remsima), but limited data in children and young people. We therefore collected data from all 3 regional Scottish Centres to share our experience of this.

Between Sept 2016 and Jan 2018, there were 39 patients that were prescribed Remicade, of which 33 switched to Remsima. We collected results from tests such as poo and blood samples, medicine levels and review of symptoms. These patients were followed up for a period of 12 months.

Our results are promising and support the data that has already been published. Our findings show that switching from the original Infliximab, (Remicade) to the biosimilar; (Remsima) appears not to be associated with any increase in negative side effects and works just as well. This work is important as it was carried out for all children with IBD receiving these treatments at a similar time allowing a greater number of children to be studied. The work also resulted in a significant cost saving to the NHS of £1500 per patient per year or more than £60,000 for all the patients involved in the study.

The full journal article:

Gervais,L, McLean,L.L,  Wilson,M.L, Cameron, C, Curtis,L, Garrick,V,  Armstrong, K, Tayler, R,  Henderson, P, Hansen, R, Chalmers, I, Wilson D.C and Russell, R.K (2018) Switching from Originator to Biosimilar Infliximab in Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease is Feasible and Uneventful. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000002091

This project was in addition to the many different research studies and audits that are running in our department for children with IBD many of which are supported by the Foundation.

I would like to thank the Catherine McEwan Foundation for their continued support. If anyone has any questions or would like more information, then please contact Lisa or any member of the IBD team.

Lisa Gervais – IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist / Senior Research Nurse