Biocon said on Tuesday it has won regulatory approval for marketing a biosimilar version of Roche's Herceptin, used in breast cancer treatment. The company, which has developed the drug with US drug firm Mylan Inc, expects it to be available to Indian patients in the fourth quarter of 2013/14.
Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw did not disclose the price of the drug in India, but said it will be cheaper than the patented version which is available for around Rs 75,000 per dose.
She added that the Drug Controller General of India's (DCGI) nod to biosimilar Trastuzumab is an important milestone for Biocon as it is the world's first such version of Herceptin in the market. The drug will be marketed in India under the brand name of CANMAb™ by Biocon. Biosimilars are large, complex molecules (mostly proteins) produced by living organisms; and generics are small molecules, produced by chemical synthesis.
Shaw said around half a dozen cancer drugs are under development and the generic versions would be launched over the next five years as some cancer drugs go off patent.
A company statement said breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in India with over 100,000 new breast cancer patients diagnosed every year. The generic version of the drug will provide an affordable alternative for cancer patients in India and the world.