Cipla partners with Hetero to launch biosimilar anaemia drug

Pharma major Cipla today announced a collaboration with Hetero Drugs to launch a medication under the Actorise brand for treatment of anaemia caused due to chronic kidney disease.

"The collaboration stands as a multi-partner co- marketing deal which offers Cipla a license to make the drug accessible to a wide number of patients in India," the company said in a statement.

Actorise is a biosimilar of 'Darbepoetin alfa', which is marketed by US-based Amgen under the brand Aranesp.

Cipla said Actorise is available in the pre-filled syringes (PFS) in the strengths of 25 mcg and 40 mcg priced at Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,200 respectively.

Commenting on the development, Cipla Chief Medical Officer Jaideep Gogtay said: "The launch of Darbepoetin alfa reinforces our strong commitment to expand the product pipeline in biosimilars and to increase product access in various therapeutic areas."

The company anticipates more number of deals across therapy areas in the near future, he added.

"More than 1,00,000 patients each year need renal replacement therapy -- dialysis and renal transplant. Most of these patients develop anaemia and will need drugs such as Darbepoetin alfa to maintain their hemoglobin and reduce the need for blood transfusions," Gogtay said.

Darbepoetin alfa, a second generation erythropoietin maintains the hemoglobin levels for a longer period of time, and so the dose is only once a week, Cipla said.

Mumbai based Cipla's portfolio includes 2,000 products in 65 therapeutic categories.

Shares of Cipla were trading at Rs 424.30 per scrip in the afternoon trade on BSE, down 0.20 per cent from it's previous close.

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