Drug tests in Brazil could help broaden access to sophisticated treatments
Sandoz, the generic division of Novartis, is working with a local partner in Brazil which is undertaking the first clinical trial in that country for a biosimilar drug.
Oct 23, 2014
Drug tests now underway in Brazil could enable many more people suffering from serious illnesses like cancer to have access to sophisticated medicines that can help fight the diseases.
The Brazilian Institute for Cancer Control (IBCC) is recruiting patients for a clinical trial being undertaken for Sandoz, the generic division of Novartis. The drug test is the first of its type in the country to involve a type of drug known as biosimilars. These are copies of complex patented medicines made in living cells that have no clinically meaningful differences in terms of safety, efficacy or quality to the original product.
Biosimilars have been used safely in Europe and other parts of the world for more than 8 years and they are produced using the exact same manufacturing and quality standards as the originator biologics. But because they are less costly to develop, they are more affordable and therefore have the potential to expand patient access to these important medicines.
The biosimilar trial represents a new approach to tackling cancer in Brazil … I believe this is the way forward.
Dr Felipe Cruz, responsible for clinical research at IBCC, said the advent of biosimilars is important for patients in developing countries to gain access to sophisticated drugs that would otherwise be too costly.
“The main treatment for advanced breast cancer is still chemotherapy,” he said. “However, there are certain types of cancer where we need more targeted molecular therapies.”
“The biosimilar trial represents a new approach to tackling cancer in Brazil,” Dr Cruz said. “I believe this is the way forward.”
Watch the video below for more on the Sandoz clinical trial in Brazil.