Generic drug manufacturer Beximco Pharmaceuticals yesterday penned a deal to begin the sale of medication for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases made by US-based Mylan, in what can be viewed as a stroke of good news for the country's healthcare sector.
Under the agreement, Beximco Pharma will be allowed to launch Mylan's portfolio of key monoclonal antibodies for different types of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and other medical conditions, said the listed company in a press release.
The news of this tie-up though failed to boost Beximco stock: it closed 0.41 per cent lower at Tk 73.30 yesterday.
The first product, a breast cancer drug called Ogivri, will become available to the public in the first quarter of the current year.
Cancer is now one of the leading causes of death in Bangladesh: more than 50,000 women have tested positive for breast cancer.
Ogivri, which is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and also received marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency, is biosimilar to Roche's blockbuster drug Herceptin. Its global sales in 2018 exceeded $7 billion.
The growing rate of breast cancer patients is a major public health concern in developing markets, said Rakesh Bamzai, president of Mylan's India and emerging markets operations.
"As a global leader in the development of complex pharmaceuticals, Mylan, through its commercial agreement with Beximco Pharma, is pleased to make its products accessible for patients in Bangladesh," he added.
With one of the most diverse portfolios for biosimilar medicines that are approved in over 80 countries, Mylan is an ideal partner for Beximco, according to Nazmul Hassan, managing director of Beximco Pharma.
At present, Beximco Pharma produces more than 300 generics.
With an international footprint spanning more than 50 countries, the company has been accredited by leading global regulatory authorities, which include the FDA, Malta Medicines Authority (EU), TGA (Australia), Health Canada, GCC (Gulf) and TFDA (Taiwan).
Mylan offers a growing portfolio with more than 7,500 of their products being marketed across 165 countries and territories.
The US-based company also provides antiretroviral therapies, which approximately 40 per cent of the world's HIV/AIDS afflicted population depend on.