Umbralisib, a novel cancer drug discovered and out-licensed by India's Alembic Pharmaceuticals and its associate drug discovery company Rhizen Pharmaceuticals, has received the drug regulatory approval for sales in the US market. The drug is touted to be the first new chemical entity (NCE) discovered by Indian scientists to secure a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.
Switzerland based Rhizen had discovered the molecule in 2012 and two years later was licensed to US based TG Therapeutics, which has worldwide sales rights. Rhizen has retained commercialisation rights for India while also being the manufacturing and supply partner for Umbralisib. Alembic owns 50 per cent stake in Rhizen.
Umbralisib is a novel, next generation, oral, once daily drug for adult patients with relapsed or refractory lymphoma and relapsed or refractory marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) that resists treatments and drugs. Such cancers affect over 3-4 lakh patients in the US every year. The drug is estimated to have a global market worth US$ 1-1.5 billion.
"We are extremely proud of this historic milestone for Rhizen, and of the fact that Umbralisib is the first NCE discovered by Indian scientists to secure a US FDA approval," said Pranav Amin, Chairman, Rhizen Pharmaceuticals & Managing Director of Alembic Pharmaceuticals.
"We are keen to bring Umbralisib to Indian patients and we plan to initiate activities towards registration and approval there soon," said Swaroop Vakkalanka, President & CEO of Rhizen Pharmaceuticals.
Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila had a few months ago got 'Fast Track Designation' by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for Saroglitazar in the treatment of patients with Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC), a liver disorder due to progressive destruction of the bile ducts.