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07-06-2017 | Biosimilars | Article

Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) as a tool in the switch from infliximab innovator to biosimilar in rheumatic patients: results of a 12-month observational prospective cohort study

Clinical Rheumatology

Authors: E. M. H. Schmitz, S. Benoy - De Keuster, A. J. L. Meier, V. Scharnhorst, R. A. M. Traksel, M. A. C. Broeren, L. J. J. Derijks

Publisher: Springer London


The objective of this study is to apply therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) as an objective tool to monitor the switch from infliximab innovator (INX) to infliximab biosimilar (INB) in our diverse rheumatic cohort in daily clinical practice. All rheumatic patients on INX treatment (Remicade®) and ≥18 years were switched to INB (Inflectra®) as part of routine care, but in a controlled setting. Patients were monitored by taking blood samples just before the first infusion of INB (T1), and after the second (T2), fourth (T3), and seventh (T4) infusion of INB. T4 reflects the patients’ status after ∼12 months. Infliximab trough levels, antibodies-to-infliximab (ATI), C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and validated disease activity scores (if possible) were measured. Our population consisted of 27 patients with seven different rheumatic diseases who had received INX for 143 (58–161) months (median (IQR)). Half of the patients (52%) received concomitant immunosuppressives. We found widely varying infliximab levels, with only 56% within the proposed therapeutic range of 1–5 μg/mL. One patient had very high ATI levels (>880 au/mL), and two had low ATI levels (≤30 au/mL). After switching to INB, seven patients (26%) discontinued the therapy, partially due to subjective reasons. No difference in infliximab levels, CRP levels, and disease activity scores was found between the four time points (p ≥ 0.2460). In conclusion, no pharmacokinetic or clinical differences were found between INX and INB in our diverse rheumatic cohort. TDM is a helpful tool to monitor patients switching from INX to INB.

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