UW News

February 25, 2010

Biosimilar drugs are topic of UW School of Pharmacy conference for biotech, pharmaceutical professionals

The biosimilars are coming.

No, these are not some mutated beings from a Hollywood sci-fi B-movie. Biosimilars, or so-called “generic” equivalents, are off-patent drugs derived from biologics or living organisms, such as proteins. These differ from currently available generic drugs that are formulated primarily from small molecules manufactured by a well defined chemical process.

Next month, the UW School of Pharmacy will host a biosimilars conference geared toward professionals in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical research sectors. It will address the major technological and policy questions that arise about these biologics being available in the U.S. market.

While there may be great opportunities for manufacturers and professionals in the biosimilars field, parallel concerns regarding manufacturing, clinical trials, economics, intellectual property, analytical methods, safety and efficacy arise. Indeed, some of the recent revisions to President Obama’s health-care reform bill have centered on regulatory pathways for biosimilars.

Faculty members from the UW Schools of Pharmacy and the UW School of Medicine and professionals from local and international biomedical companies will present at the conference. They will lead attendees through the current state of biosimilars.

The Conference on Biosimilars, sponsored by the UW School of Pharmacy and managed by UW Educational Outreach, will take place Friday and Saturday, March 19 and 20, at the UW Tower. This program is geared toward professionals working in or new to biotech and pharmaceutical industries. University of Washington scientists and researchers involved in drug discovery are also invited to attend.

For additional conference information and registration, visit the conference Web site.