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Alkem launches biosimilar to treat head, neck cancer

Head and neck cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in India, which is primarily caused by the consumption of tobacco

Published Date – 08:10 PM, Mon – 29 May 23

Alkem launches biosimilar to treat head, neck cancer
Representational image.

New Delhi: Alkem Laboratories on Monday said it has launched Cetuxa, the world’s first biosimilar of Cetuximab, used for the treatment of head and neck cancer.

The introduction of the medication is in line with the company’s endeavour to ensure affordability, accessibility and availability while saving the lives of critically ill cancer patients, the drug maker said in a statement.

Cetuxa is administered as an intravenous infusion and is available as 100 mg (2 mg/mL) in a single-dose vial.

“In India, more than 76,000 patients are eligible for the use of cetuximab for the management of head and neck cancer. Currently, only around 1,611 patients are managed by this therapy…Its reach in India is limited partly due to its high cost. To address this issue, we have launched an affordable biosimilar, which is backed by indigenous research and production,” Alkem Laboratories Managing Director Sandeep Singh said.

Head and neck cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in India, which is primarily caused by the consumption of tobacco.

According to the Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN) estimates, there were 19.3 million incident cancer cases worldwide in 2020 and India ranked third after China and the US.

Overall, 57.5 per cent of global head and neck cancer cases occur in Asia, and India accounts for 30 per cent of these cases.

Annually, in India, the prevalence of head and neck cancer is around 5,00,000 cases with over 1,25,000 deaths.

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