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January 3, 2017

Biosimilar Therapy for ERBB2 (HER2)–Positive Breast CancerClose Enough?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Associate Editor, JAMA
JAMA. 2017;317(1):30-32. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.18979

Biologics is an umbrella term for therapeutic agents at least partially derived from living organisms such as yeast, bacteria, plant, or animal cells. Typically, biologics are large, complex molecules and include vaccines, gene therapies, and cellular therapies, often made using recombinant DNA technology. Insulins, erythropoietin, and an increasing number of cancer drugs are in this class of therapies. In 2005, biologics accounted for 32% of the $9.5 billion Medicare Part B drug spending; by 2014, these products constituted 62% of the $18.5 billion total.1

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