Russia’s leading biotech firm Biocad is finishing clinical trials of a new anti-cancer drug that will soon appear in the Russian market and will be able to compete with imported analogues, according to recent statements by Russian Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova.
It is planned that the new drug will be launched in the Russian market in one to five years and is expected to be significantly cheaper than its foreign equivalents, which are currently imported from abroad.
The new drug is known as PD-1, which is the name of the active protein of the drug. The protein interacts with the tumor, making it visible to the human immune system. The drug – the so-called check-point inhibitor – is designed for the treatment of melanoma, a disease that leads to the death of 70% of patients with this skin cancer in Russia.
According to Roman Ivanov, vice president of the department of engineering and research at Biocad, the development of the drug began as far back as in 2013, while the drug is currently a subject of early phases of clinical trials. It is planned that they will be completed by third quarter of the current year, after which the company will start preparations for the registration of its new product.
At present the cost of a treatment session against melanoma with the use of imported drugs in Russia is estimated at about $150,000, which is unaffordable for the majority of local citizens, however the use of the new Biocad drug should make this treatment session significantly cheaper.
It is planned that the new drug will participate in state tenders for public procurement and will be able to compete with certain foreign anti-cancer drugs.