GSK to launch cancer drug Tykerb in India

Mumbai: GlaxoSmithKline is set to launch the breast-cancer drug Tykerb in India sometime early next year.

The company is reported to be lining up critical care and cardio-vascular drugs for the Indian market through two, yet-to-be formalised, in-licensing deals.

According to Dr Hasit Joshipura, vice president (South-Asia) and managing director (India) of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, the company is in the process of signing deals on the critical care and cardiovascular drugs, and should hopefully be ready with an announcement by the end of the year. One of these drugs is reportedly a patented drug.

The in-licensing strategy is unique to the Indian market. GSK has eight in-licensing deals in place, which reportedly accounted for around 20 per cent of the company's growth last year. GSK previously brought in Eisai's anti-ulcer drug Parit, and Novartis' anti-fungal drug Terbenafine through the in-licensing route.

The oncology product Tykerb goes by the generic name Lapatinib. GSK reportedly has received approval to market it, and is waiting for site registration, on the basis of which it is confident of launching the drug in India sometime in the first two quarters of 2008. Also lined up for launch is GSK's Rotavirus vaccine, related to gastroenteritis, which will come to the Indian market almost simultaneously.

The company's six-in-one combination vaccine - Infanrix hexa, which immunises against six diseases, is also reportedly ready to be rolled-out during the same period, and will be one of the products from the yet-to-be signed in-licensing deals.

GSK's break-through cervical cancer vaccine is reportedly coming to India by 2009.

According to Dr Joshipura, Tykerb is for patients who had failed Herceptin treatment, a medicine from Roche, and is for a very clearly defined patient group.