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Original article: Cross-immunogenicity: antibodies to infliximab in Remicade-treated patients with IBD similarly recognise the biosimilar Remsima

Gut 2016;65:1132-1138 Published Online First: 20 April 2015 doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2015-309290

Abstract

Objective The cross-immunogenicity of the recently approved infliximab-biosimilar Remsima (CT-P13) with the originator drug Remicade is still unknown.

Design Sera of patients with IBD with or without measurable anti-Remicade antibodies to infliximab (ATI) were tested for their cross-reactivity to two batches of Remsima. Experiments were repeated after deglycosylation of Remicade/Remsima, IgG purification, excipients’ dialysis and monomer purification by size exclusion chromatography. Anti-Remicade antibodies were tested for their functional inhibition of TNF-α binding by Remsima/Remicade by competition assay. Cross-reactivity of anti-adalimumab antibodies with Remicade/Remsima was also investigated.

Results 125 patients’ and controls’ sera were tested (median age 31 years, IQR 24.5–39.5). All 56 anti-Remicade ATI-negative controls (14 healthy individuals, 42 patients with IBD) were also negative for anti-Remsima ATI. All 69 positive anti-Remicade IBD sera were cross-reactive with Remsima. ATI titres against Remicade or Remsima were strongly correlated (r values between 0.92 and 0.99, p<0.001 for all experiments, Spearman's correlation test). The background ELISA signal for Remsima was slightly higher compared with Remicade in negative controls (1.25±0.6 µg/mL vs 0.76±0.5 µg/mL, respectively, p<0.001), and persisted after deglycosylation, dialysis or protein size filtration, but abolished by IgG purification and significantly diminished by monomer purification. Anti-Remicade ATIs of patients with IBD (n=10) exerted similar functional inhibition on Remsima or Remicade TNF-α binding capacity (p=NS for all inhibition curve points). Antibodies-to-adalimumab in adalimumab-treated patients with IBD (n=7) did not cross-react with either Remicade or Remsima.

Conclusions Anti-Remicade antibodies in patients with IBD recognise and functionally inhibit Remsima to a similar degree, suggesting similar immunogenicity and shared immunodominant epitopes on these two infliximab agents. In contrast, anti-adalimumab antibodies do not cross-react with Remsima or Remicade.