Biocon to launch psoriasis drug novel biologic in July

Kiran Mazumdar-ShawThe global market for psoriasis treatments is estimated to cross USD 8 billion by 2016. (AP)

Biotechnology major Biocon plans to launch in July its novel biologic drug Itolizumab branded as 'Alzumab' to be used for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis in the country.

"We plan to launch Alzumab (Itolizumab) in July this year in the country. It is a novel, first-in-class biologic for the treatment of psoriasis," Biocon Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said in an interview.

It will be manufactured at the company's Biopharma manufacturing facility at Biocon Park in Bangalore, she added. Psoriasis is an inflammatory auto-immune skin disease that follows a typical relapsing and remitting course with the disease affecting two to three per cent of the total population in the country.

"The market for such a drug is huge in India as the disease affects quite a number of people," she added. The global market for psoriasis treatments is estimated to cross USD 8 billion by 2016, Biocon said.

The company had received marketing authorisation for Itolizumab from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in January, 2013.

"We also plan to extend the clinical development of the drug for other auto- mmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and vitiligo in future," Mazumdar-Shaw said.

The company has also completed a pre-IND (Investigational New Drug) meeting for Itolizumab with the US Food and Drug Administration as it plans for a global clinical development of the new medicine.

This is company's second novel biologic developed in India. BioMab EGFR, an anti-cancer monoclonal antibody being the first.

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