Demonstration of physicochemical and functional similarity between the proposed biosimilar adalimumab MSB11022 and Humira®

MAbs. 2017 Jan;9(1):127-139. doi: 10.1080/19420862.2016.1259046.


Biosimilars are biological products that are highly similar to existing products approved by health authorities. Demonstration of similarity starts with the comprehensive analysis of the reference product and its proposed biosimilar at the physicochemical and functional levels. Here, we report the results of a comparative analysis of a proposed biosimilar adalimumab MSB11022 and its reference product, Humira®. Three batches of MSB11022 and up to 23 batches of Humira® were analyzed by a set of state-of-the-art orthogonal methods. Primary and higher order structure analysis included N/C-terminal modifications, molecular weight of heavy and light chains, C-terminal lysine truncation, disulfide bridges, secondary and tertiary structures, and thermal stability. Purity ranged from 98.4%-98.8% for MSB11022 batches (N = 3) and from 98.4%-99.6% for Humira® batches (N = 19). Isoform analysis showed 5 isoform clusters within the pI range of 7.94-9.14 and 100% glycan site occupancy for both MSB11022 and Humira®. Functional analysis included Fab-dependent inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced cytotoxicity in L929-A9 cell line and affinity to soluble and transmembrane forms of TNF, as well as Fc-dependent binding to Fcγ and neonatal Fc receptors and C1q complement proteins. All tested physicochemical and functional parameters demonstrated high similarity of MSB11022 and Humira®, with lower variability between MSB11022 and Humira® batches compared with variability within individual batches of Humira®. Based on these results, MSB11022 is anticipated to have safety and efficacy comparable to those of Humira®.

Keywords: FcR; Humira®; MSB11022; TNF; adalimumab; analytical similarity; biosimilars.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Antirheumatic Agents / chemistry*
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals / chemistry*
  • Humans


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals
  • Adalimumab