More reports on: Pharmaceuticals

Biocon to launch breast cancer drug 'CANMAb' next month

18 January 2014

Biocon Ltd, India's top biotechnology company, today announced the launch of breast cancer drug `CANMAb' developed jointly with US-based Mylan, beginning next month.

CANMAb', a biosimilar trastuzumab useful for the treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, will be sold in 150 mg/440 mg strengths.

CANMAb, developed jointly by Biocon and Mylan under a global partnership, is the world's first biosimilar version of Herceptin.

Biocon said CANMAb, which would be manufactured at its biologics facility in Bangalore, will be made available at about 25 per cent discount to the current list price of the reference product, Roche's Herceptin in India, which is already significantly lower than its price in developed markets.

Herceptin 440mg is currently sold at Rs57,500 in the country.

"In addition, CANMAb's 150 mg formulation, priced at Rs19,500 / vial, will allow extra savings to patients as they can buy smaller quantities as per their requirement," the company said.

''Biocon intends to make a significant difference in the treatment paradigm for HER2-positive breast cancer in India by enhancing access to more affordable treatment with CANMAb (biosimilar trastuzumab), which offers the same level of safety and efficacy as the reference product.

The launch of CANMAb in India is an important milestone for our biosimilars program and demonstrates our ability to deliver on our promise of affordable innovation with a high quality, world- class product,'' Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director of Biocon Ltd, said.

The company would start selling the drug to patients around the first week of February 2014, it added.

Around 1.5 lakh new patients are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in India, of which nearly 25 per cent cases are eligible for treatment with CANMAb.

"Both 150 and 440 mg formulations of CANMAb can be stored for one month which is an important offering for patients in India, as it will ensure that there is no under-dosing or wastage of drug which is quite common today," the company said.

The global sales for Herceptin stood at $6.4 billion in 2012, while in India it recorded sales of $21 million.

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