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The introduction of biologic therapies to treat a wide variety of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs), in rheumatology, gastroenterology, dermatology and oncology, among others, had a significant impact on the way these diseases are treated. However, the high cost of biologics and differences in reimbursement systems, big differences in their adoption have been seen across the competent regulatory authorities’ countries. Consequently, many patients eligible, from a clinical perspective, to receive a biologic treatment do not receive the adequate treatment due to cost constraints, which adds to their disease burdens and affects their quality of life.
Biosimilars are approved by competent regulatory authorities based on robust evidence of biosimilarity, and are high quality, affordable alternatives to originator biologics. The potential cost savings from their introduction are believed to help alleviate the ever-increasing pressure on healthcare systems. Patients also benefit as more resources are freed up, allowing more patients eligible for a biologic to be treated in a timely, efficient and sustained manner.
Chief of Medicine and Division Head, Martin‑Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany
Prof. Nietsch, MD serves as Chief of Medicine and Division Head of St. Elisabeth Medical Center, a 650-bed academic teaching hospital of Martin-Luther-University Halle, Germany. He also holds a faculty position at Albany Medical Center, NY, USA. He completed his medical training at Munich University and University College Dublin, Ireland, followed by postgraduate fellowships at the University of Vermont and University of Washington, Seattle.
His main interests in gastroenterology are the management of patients with complex GI problems, including inflammatory bowel disease and interventional endoscopy. He is a member of DGVS, ASGE and AGA. He serves on the editorial board of national and international GI journals.
Prof. Nietsch has no disclosures to share
Director of the Department of Dermatology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (HSCSP), Barcelona, Spain
Prof. Luis Puig Sanz is Director of the Department of Dermatology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (HSCSP), and Professor of Dermatology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) Medical School, both in Barcelona, Spain.
To date, Prof. Puig’s clinical research has focused on psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, and hidradenitis suppurativa, and he has participated in over 100 clinical trials and research projects. He is considered to be a key opinion leader in this field, both nationally and internationally, having conducted 600 presentations at national and international conferences, workshops, and seminars. He is co-author of the Dermatology Textbook "Dermatología Clínica", edited by Prof. Carlos Ferrándiz, widely accepted and recommended in many Medical Schools of Spain and Latin America. He is a member of the Editorial Board of many dermatology journals including Dermatology, Actas Dermosifiliográficas, Journal of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, Medicina Cutánea Latinoamericana, Piel, Medicina Clínica, and reviewer for Archives of Dermatology, British Journal of Dermatology, Dermatology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Acta Dermato-Venereologica, and the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology, among others.
Prof. Puig Sanz is Co-chair of the Task Force on Psoriasis for the EADV, was a member of the EADV Board of Directors and a member of the EADV Nomination and Elections Committee (2013−19). He is currently Councillor (2012−) and a board member (2018−) of the International Psoriasis Council, and a member of the Skin Inflammation and Psoriasis International Network and the Fondation René Touraine, of which he was President until 2019. He is a member of several other scientific committees including the European Scientific Committee - Dermatology, European Center for Clinical Excellence, and European Dermatology Forum.
Luis Puig Sanz receives honoraria for speaking and consulting from: AbbVie, Almirall, Amgen, Baxalta, Biogen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, Fresenius-Kabi, Janssen, JS BIOCAD, Leo-Pharma, Lilly, Mylan, Novartis, Pfizer, Regeneron, Roche, Sandoz, Samsung-Bioepis, Sanofi, UCB.
Prof. Puig Sanz has participated in company-sponsored speaker’s bureaus for: Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer.
Grants and research support have been received from: AbbVie, Almirall, Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, Janssen, Leo-Pharma, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Regeneron, Roche, Sanofi, UCB.
Head of the Department of Rheumatology, Munich University Hospital, Munich, Germany
Prof. Hendrik Schulze-Koops received his doctorate of medicine from the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 1988 for his work on the arthritogenic factors of Yersinia. He was promoted to Professor of Clinical Immunology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, in 2006, and since then has held the position of Professor of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology at Munich University Hospital, Germany. With nearly 30 years' experience in the field of clinical immunology, Prof. Schulze-Koops is one of the foremost authorities in rheumatism.
Prof. Schulze-Koops' current research focuses on cellular and molecular pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, and he is currently leading research into mechanisms of sustained autoimmune T-cell activity in diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis with the two important aspects of increased activity of inflammatory effector T cells and decreased functionality of regulatory T cells.
The Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology of the University of Munich receives financial support from AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Biogen, BMS, Celgene, Celltrion, Fresenius, Gilead, GSK, Hospira, Janssen-Cilag, Lilly, Medac, MSD, Mundipharma, Mylan, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Hexal Sandoz, Shire Baxalta, Sobi, Roche, UCB
Hendrik Schulze-Koops receives honoraria for lectures and consultations from AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Biogen International, BMS, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, Celltrion, Gilead, GSK, Hospira, Janssen-Cilag, Lilly, Medac, MSD, Merck, Mundipharma, Mylan, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Hexal Sandoz, Roche, UCB
Prof. Giampiero Girolomoni
University of Verona, Italy
Prof. Miriam Wittmann
University of Leeds, UK
Prof. Peter Weisenseel
Dermatologikum Hamburg, Germany
Prof. Yoram Bouhnik
Hôpital Beaujon, Paris Diderot University, France
Prof. Flavio Caprioli
Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
Prof. João Gonçalves
University of Lisbon, Portugal
Dr Fraser Cummings
Southampton General Hospital, UK
Prof. Maria Cuadrado
Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Madrid, Spain
Prof. Bruno Fautrel
Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
Prof. Tore Kvien
University of Oslo, Norway
Prof. Maurizio Cutolo
University of Genova, Italy
Prof. Carlo Selmi
Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Humanitas Research Hospital, Humanitas University Milan, Italy
Dr Raj Sengupta
Royal United Hospitals and University of Bath, UK
Prof. Alla Skapenko
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany
Prof. Peter Taylor
University of Oxford, UK