Infliximab Biosimilars in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Systematic Review

BioDrugs. 2017 Feb;31(1):37-49. doi: 10.1007/s40259-016-0206-1.


Background: Biological therapies represent a fundamental innovation for the management of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). However, many biological originators have reached, or are about to reach, patent expiry and long-term therapy costs have become progressively unsustainable. CT-P13, a biosimilar of the anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) monoclonal antibody infliximab, might represent a significant alternative to its originator, with the potential to decrease medical care costs and, therefore, become available to a large number of patients.

Objectives: In this systematic review, we analyzed the data from available clinical trials that recently investigated the validity of indication extrapolation of CT-P13 for the treatment of IBD in naïve patients and in patients who switched from its originator infliximab, focusing on clinical efficacy, safety and immunogenicity.

Methods: A detailed literature search was developed a priori to identify articles that investigated the validity of indication extrapolation of CT-P13 for the treatment of IBD in TNF inhibitor treatment-naïve patients and in patients who switched from the originator infliximab. This was applied to Ovid MEDLINE, In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Scopus for content from 2012 to September 2016.

Results: We based our review on the available data from 11 studies that included a total of 1007 IBD patients: 570 patients suffering from Crohn's disease (294 switched and 276 naïve), 435 patients suffering from ulcerative colitis (127 switched and 308 naïve), and two IBD unclassified patients (switched). Overall, no significant difference in efficacy and safety between the originator infliximab and its biosimilar CT-P13 was observed. When assessing the safety of CT-P13, we found that 9.2% of patients experienced adverse effects (4.1% infusion-related reactions and 4.3% infections).

Conclusion: The analyzed studies did not report a significant difference in terms of efficacy, safety and immunogenicity when comparing the clinical experience with CT-P13 with the available literature data on the originator treatment in IBD. However, some debate is ongoing regarding interchangeability and immunogenicity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals / metabolism
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism
  • Infliximab / immunology
  • Infliximab / metabolism
  • Infliximab / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals
  • CT-P13
  • Infliximab