Ahmedabad-based Cadila Pharmaceuticals is foraying into the $350-billion US pharma market with its generic antiviral drug Acyclovir, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Primarily a bulk drug supplier to the US market, the Rs 1,200-crore privately held pharma firm expects to get four to five USFDA approvals for generic drugs in anti-diabetic, respiratory and anti-infective therapy areas by 2014.
Cadila Pharmaceuticals on Thursday launched the world’s first innovative drug treatment for lung cancer — Mycidac-C. To be marketed in India from December this year, the drug will also be sold in the Japanese, European, American and African markets, in the next five years.
“For a 10-injection dose, the cost of Mycidac-C would be R40,000 compared to the highly expensive lung cancer treatment medicines available in the domestic market today,” Cadila Pharmaceuticals CMD Rajiv Modi said. Currently, Roche’s Avastin and Tarceva; and Pfizer’s Xalkori cost over R2 lakh for a similar dosage.
Mycidac-C is effective for patients suffering from non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Cadila claims that the treatment enhances the lifespan of a cancer patient by a minimum of two to three months. World Health Organisation statistics reveal that about 1.25 million people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year worldwide. Around 30% of them suffer from NSCLC.
According to Cadila, Mycidac-C can be administered easily by trained paramedics, thus reducing the cost of hospitalisation associated with other cancer therapy. Moreover, there are no systemic side effects associated with this drug, according to the company.
“In India and Africa, this anti-lung cancer drug would be marketed by Cadila, whereas for European, US and Japanese markets we are currently scouting for marketing partnerships with global MNCs,” said Modi.
He added that currently Mycidac-C is being recommended as a late-stage treatment, however, “as usage increases and we generate more post marketing data, it could become a primary treatment medicine for lung cancer”. The innovation driven drug maker, which spends over 5% of its sales revenues in R&D, is also working on developing a rabies vaccines and a treatment to break antibiotic resistance in humans.
On its US generic foray, Modi said that all the filings have been made from the company’s Dholka plant in Gujarat, which is USFDA approved.
India accounts for about 40% of generic and over-the-counter products and 10% of finished dosages used in the US.
Cadila sells products in over 50 countries and caters to over 45 therapeutic areas including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, analgesics, haematinics, anti-infectives and antibiotics, respiratory agents, anti-diabetics and immunologicals.