BANGALORE: Biopharmaceutical major Biocon has launched a new injectable drug for the treatment of a highly prevalent form of breast cancer and has priced its product 25 per cent lower than existing drugs in the market.
After cervical cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among Indian women, with 1.5 lakh new patients being diagnosed with the disease every year. Of that, nearly 25 per cent are diagnosed with a particular type of breast cancer known as HER2-positive breast cancer.
This type of breast cancer is said to be the most aggressive and fast growing, having a much higher risk of early recurrence and death. Biocon's new drug, called CANMAb and priced at Rs 57,500 for a 440 mg vial and Rs 19,500 for a 150 mg vial, has been developed for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer.
The drug has been jointly developed by Biocon and US-based generic pharmaceutical major Mylan and is expected to hit the Indian market in early February. The drug will be manufactured in Biocon's facility in Bangalore.
CANMAb will compete with Herceptin, an existing drug priced at Rs 75,000 for a 440 mg vial, which is also the innovator (original) product for the treatment of HER2- breast cancer developed by Swiss pharma company Roche. The global sales for Herceptin stood at $6.4 billion in 2012; in India it was $21 million.
"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, which offers the same level of safety and efficacy as the reference product (Herceptin)," said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon.