In the last decade, the expiration of patents protecting therapeutic monoclonal antibodies opened an opportunity for the development and approval of biosimilar versions of these drugs. The complexity of these biologic molecules required the imposition of strict regulations to establish robust comparability with the antibody of reference in physicochemical, analytical, biological and, when deemed necessary, clinical data. Accordingly, this period coincides with the updating of the requirements and guidelines for the manufacture and approval of biologics in Latin American countries by their respective regulatory agencies. Although the term “biosimilar” does not appear in the official regulatory provisions in most of the countries, it is of general use in Latin America, and several biosimilars of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies were approved based on comparative quality, nonclinical and clinical data that demonstrate similarity to a licensed biological reference registered before in a Regulatory Health Authority of reference. Here, we provide an overview of how the complexities of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies shaped the regulatory landscape of similar biologics, the current status of biosimilar monoclonal antibodies in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, México, Paraguay, Perú and Uruguay and their potential to reduce the cost of antibody therapies in this region.
Part of the book: Biosimilars