Analytical Similarity Assessment of Biosimilars: Global Regulatory Landscape, Recent Studies and Major Advancements in Orthogonal Platforms

Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2022 Feb 9:10:832059. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2022.832059. eCollection 2022.


Biopharmaceuticals are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the biotechnology industry. Within the umbrella of biopharmaceuticals, the biosimilar segment is expanding with currently over 200 approved biosimilars, globally. The key step towards achieving a successful biosimilar approval is to establish analytical and clinical biosimilarity with the innovator. The objective of an analytical biosimilarity study is to demonstrate a highly similar profile with respect to variations in critical quality attributes (CQAs) of the biosimilar product, and these variations must lie within the range set by the innovator. This comprises a detailed comparative structural and functional characterization using appropriate, validated analytical methods to fingerprint the molecule and helps reduce the economic burden towards regulatory requirement of extensive preclinical/clinical similarity data, thus making biotechnological drugs more affordable. In the last decade, biosimilar manufacturing and associated regulations have become more established, leading to numerous approvals. Biosimilarity assessment exercises conducted towards approval are also published more frequently in the public domain. Consequently, some technical advancements in analytical sciences have also percolated to applications in analytical biosimilarity assessment. Keeping this in mind, this review aims at providing a holistic view of progresses in biosimilar analysis and approval. In this review, we have summarized the major developments in the global regulatory landscape with respect to biosimilar approvals and also catalogued biosimilarity assessment studies for recombinant DNA products available in the public domain. We have also covered recent advancements in analytical methods, orthogonal techniques, and platforms for biosimilar characterization, since 2015. The review specifically aims to serve as a comprehensive catalog for published biosimilarity assessment studies with details on analytical platform used and critical quality attributes (CQAs) covered for multiple biotherapeutic products. Through this compilation, the emergent evolution of techniques with respect to each CQA has also been charted and discussed. Lastly, the information resource of published biosimilarity assessment studies, created during literature search is anticipated to serve as a helpful reference for biopharmaceutical scientists and biosimilar developers.

Keywords: analytical similarity; biosimilars; critical quality attributes; orthogonal analytical tools; regulatory guidelines.

Publication types

  • Review