Biocon Biopharmaceuticals in joint venture with the CIMAB has announced that it has extended its product portfolio to include two additional ‘monoclonal antibodies’ and three cancer vaccines.
An agreement was signed between the two partners, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw representing Biocon and Patricia Sierra representing CIMAB in a formal ceremony in Havana on 2 June 2004 in the presence of The Indian Ambassdor Balakrishnan and the Secretary of the Council of the State of Cuba Dr Jose M Miyar.
Representatives of both countries praised the importance of this partnership as an outstanding example of South-South co-operation in the field of biotechnology.
The current product range of the company includes ‘h-R3 - a humanised anti-EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) targeting monoclonal antibody for a variety of cancers including head and neck tumors, brain tumors and non-small cell lung cancer’ among others.
A ‘Phase IIB 4-arm clinical trial for h-R3’ will soon commence to evaluate efficacy in ‘squamous cell carcinoma of solid head and neck tumors’. Following the outcome of this trial, other cancers will also be treated with ‘h-R3’ and evaluated through a series of clinical trials, the companies disclosed.
The new products include ‘h-T1 a humanised anti-CD6 targeting immuno-suppressive monoclonal antibody for T-cell lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis’ and several cancer vaccines.
Immuno-therapy is the most recent form of treatment used in oncology and autoimmune diseases wherein the use of antibodies and vaccines play a key role in managing such diseases.
Biocon Biopharmaceutical’s product portfolio is a comprehensive treatment regime aimed at complete remission and possibly cure.
Phase II clinical trials conducted in Cuba and Canada have demonstrated complete remission in about 60 per cent of patients treated with ‘h-R3’.
Phase II trials using ‘EGF Vaccine’ along with chemotherapy and radiotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer has demonstrated a doubling of survival time thus indicating a highly significant therapeutic improvement, the company claimed.
The commercialisation of these products will herald Biocon’s foray into novel and proprietary products. Biocon Biopharmaceuticals is setting up a state-of-the-art biologicals facility for mammalian cell culture for the production of monoclonal antibodies, which will be Asia’s largest. The plant is expected to be commissioned in 2005 to coincide with the completion of clinical evaluation of ‘h-R3’.
Established in 1978, Biocon is India’s premier biotechnology company. Biocon and its three subsidiary companies, Syngene International Limited, Clinigene International Limited and Biocon Biopharmaceuticals Limited, form a fully integrated biotechnology enterprise specialising in biopharmaceuticals, custom research, clinical research and enzymes. With successful initiatives in drug discovery, clinical development, bioprocessing and global marketing, Biocon delivers products and solutions to partners and customers across 70 countries.