Biocon launches nano-based breast cancer drug

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Bangalore, Jul 18 (UNI) Biocon Technologies, the country's leading biotech company, today launched 'Abraxane,' a solvent free paclitaxel, a first of its kind nano technology drug for metastatic breast cancer, developed by Abraxis BioScience, the US-ased firm.

Launching the drug, Biocon Chief Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said both the companies had signed a licencing agreement for the commercialisation of 'Abraxane' in India.

She said the new drug, which was introduced in the US in 2005, was approved by the Drug Controller General of India in October 2007 on the basis of a successful clinical trial data, recognised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US.

She said, ''The drug is now available in India as a single-use 100 mg vial and will be made available lower than the cost (above 60 per cent cheaper) compared to the US.'' Stating that every year more than one lakh women were diagnosed with breast cancer and mortality rate was about 45,000, she said the growth rate of the killer disease was about eight per cent.

''The breast is the second most common site of cancer in women after cervix uteri,'' she added.

With the launch of the new drug against the metastatic breast cancer, the most potent and solvent-free paclitaxel, Abraxane, was being made available to patients in India who were diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

In the clinical trial, the tumor response rate was nearly double for patients who received Abraxane compared to those who received solvent-based paclitaxel.

Outlining the functioning of the new drug, which was developed employing cutting-edge nano technology, Ms Mazumdar said the potent anti cancer drug stops cancer cells from growing and dividing by interferring with certain cell structures and kills the cancer cells.

She said 'Abraxane' offers a different approach for treating metastatic breast cancer with paclitaxel by using an albumin formulation to deliver paclitaxel.

''The new drug, which is solvent-free, will reduce the risk of certain hypersensitivity related side effects, she claimed.

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