BIOCAD, a Russian biotech company, and Sothema Labs, a Moroccan pharmaceutical company, announced that the medicines made under the technology provided by the Russian manufacturer will be launched in the North African market.
The manufacturing in Marocco of Russian biosimilars rituximab and bevacizumab intended to treat the oncological diseases was agreed during the visit of the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in October 2017. In addition to Morocco, the medicines are expected to be marketed in Senegal, Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire.
Rituximab and bevacizumab are intended to treat cancer. The Russian company created a biosimilar for the costly bevacizumab, which is highly demanded both in developed and developing countries. The difference in price between the original drug and its biosimilar developed by BIOCAD is more than 30%.
“The efforts of the company team, support from the government, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economic Development, as well as the active involvement of our Moroccan colleagues in transferring the manufacturing of medicinal products to this African country, has brought remarkable results,” said Dmitry Morozov, the CEO of BIOCAD. “In the coming days, the medicines will go on sale. In my opinion, we have a vivid proof that Russian companies can successfully compete on international markets with traditional global leaders. Moreover, this is the first successful case of technology transfer for manufacturing medicines based on monoclonal antibodies in the countries of North Africa amid the refusal of Western companies to implement similar projects. Russia represented by BIOCAD helped its trading partner to launch a high-tech production facility.”
According to Dmitry Morozov, once the facility reaches its full production capacity, the partners want to capture more than 50% of the relevant market of drugs for the treatment of oncological diseases.
Also, with the support of the Russian government the agreement was reached to localize the manufacturing of finished dosage forms from the BIOCAD substances in Algeria by using the production capacity of strategic partner of the company.