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Open Access Research article

Bioequivalence of HX575 (recombinant human epoetin alfa) and a comparator epoetin alfa after multiple intravenous administrations: an open-label randomised controlled trial

Fritz Sörgel1*, Ursula Thyroff-Friesinger2, Andrea Vetter2, Bernhard Vens-Cappell3 and Martina Kinzig1

Author Affiliations

1 IBMP-Institute for Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research, Nürnberg, Germany

2 Clinical Research, Hexal AG, Holzkirchen, Germany

3 Scope International, Hamburg, Germany

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BMC Clinical Pharmacology 2009, 9:10  doi:10.1186/1472-6904-9-10

Published: 22 May 2009



HX575 is a human recombinant epoetin alfa that was approved for use in Europe in 2007 under the European Medicines Agency biosimilar approval pathway. Therefore, in order to demonstrate the bioequivalence of HX575 to an existing epoetin alfa, the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic response to steady state circulating concentrations of HX575 and a comparator epoetin alfa were compared following multiple intravenous administrations.


An open, randomised, parallel group study was conducted in 80 healthy adult males. Subjects were randomised to multiple intravenous doses of 100 IU/kg body weight of HX575 or of the comparator epoetin alfa three-times-weekly for four weeks. Serum epoetin concentrations were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and pharmacokinetic parameters for the two treatments were compared. The time course and area under the effect curve ratio of haematological characteristics were used as surrogate parameters for efficacy evaluation.


The haematological profiles of both treatments were similar, as determined from their population mean curves and the AUECHb ratio and 90% confidence interval (99.9% [98.5–101.2%]), the primary pharmacodynamic endpoint of this study. The pharmacokinetic parameters after the treatments showed minor differences after single dosing, but not at steady state doses. After multiple doses, HX575 was bioequivalent to the comparator with respect to the rate and extent of exposure of exogenous epoetin (AUCτ ratio and 90% confidence interval: 89.2% [82.5–96.2%]). Study medication was well tolerated with no clinically relevant differences between safety profiles of the treatments. Anti-epoetin antibodies were not detected.


HX575 and the comparator epoetin alfa were bioequivalent at steady state circulating drug concentrations with respect to their pharmacokinetic profile and pharmacodynamic action. This supports the conclusion that HX575 and the comparator epoetin alfa, when administered intraveneously, will be equally efficacious and may be interchangeable as therapy.