Biocon to market drug for breast cancer

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Bangalore, Oct 19: Biotechnology major Biocon Ltd has announced that it had received the approval to market ABRAXANE, an injectable suspension, in India for the treatment of breast cancer.

Talking to newspersons here, after announcing the half yearly results of the company yesterday, CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said the drug manufactured by Abraxis BioScience Inc of the US had been approved by the country's Drug Controller General.

Ms Shaw said the Abraxane was paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension and the company had, earlier, signed an agreement for the commercialisation of the drug in India in August this year.

Under the agreement, Biocon would have the right to market Abraxane in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and certain other South Asian and Persian-Gulf countries.

''This is a significant step for Biocon's innovation-led Oncotherapeutics division in our endeavour to bring new therapeutics for cancer patients in the country. There is a huge need for Abraxane in the treatment of breast cancer in the country and we look forward to attaining market leadership in this segment,'' she said.

Ms Shaw said in tune with the ''reverse brain drain'' seen in sectors like BT and IT, the company would be hiring a number of Indian scientists presently working in the US. ''These top professionals would come to Biocon and train people here. We need such people especially in molecule development which is facing severe shortage of skills,'' she added.

Denying that the attrition rate was going up in Biocon, she said, ''there is no attrition threat in the top management level but six to seven per cent of people are leaving jobs in the lower level of the organisation. It is lower compared to the present level in the BT industry,'' she said.

Ms Shaw said Biocon's new plant would go on stream shortly at Abu Dhabi and a new office would be set up in London soon. The company was also looking for acquisitions and mergers in different parts of the globe.

It had signed an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh Government, which had allocated 200 acres in Visakhapatnam to set up a plant. ''We will get some clarity on what we do in Vizag. We will be doing it in a big way,'' she said.

UNI

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