Cancer drug to hit market by year-end: Biocon

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: Biotech major Biocon today said it expected its drug for treating head and neck cancer to hit the market by the end of the current financial year.

"It (the drug release) should hopefully be by the end of this year", Biocon Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said.

She said BIOMAb EGFR, a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of solid tumors of epithelial origin such as head and neck cancer, had gone through the required clinical development time-line.

"It's now for the regulators to look at the data and approve it. We are just in the process of compiling the data and filing it (before regulators for approval). We will file it next month", she said.

According to Biocon officials, the drug is engineered to specifically target and block the epidermal growth factor receptor responsible for the proliferation of cancer cells.

"BIOMAb EGFR will spearhead Biocon Pharmeceuticals' foray into proprietary products for cancer therapy", a company official said.

"It is estimated that the incidence of new cancer cases in India is about 700,000 annually, of which nearly 2,30,000 are tobacco-related and occur in the head and neck region."

Biocon said monoclonal antibodies are emerging as the fastest growing segment, especially in oncology and auto- immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and lupus. The current global market size of monoclonal antibodies is $15 billion, which is expected to double by 2010.


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