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New Cancer Drug Bio-Mab Enhances Survival Rate
DH News Service, Bangalore:
Cancer experts in the City believe that the drug Bio-mab has proven to be a boon for head and neck cancer patients. The Anti-Epidermal Growth Factor Drug (Anti-EGFR), is being increasingly used with radiation therapy to treat cancer and is yielding tremendous survival rates among patients.

Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology Director Ashok Shenoy, who was involved closely in the development of the drug says, “The drug has low toxicity and costs half as much as the original version produced by a multi-national company.” The drug, produced by Biocon, is administered in the form of an injection and costs Rs 45,000 for a shot.

Bio-mab was produced through biological engineering and is derived from the human placenta and works on the principle of generating anti-bodies. “It blocks the proliferation of malignant cells and curtails tumours with no adverse effects,” adds Dr M S Belliappa, another oncology expert. 

Targeted therapy
The therapy known as targeted therapy is different from chemotherapy and is very effective in the treatment of head and neck cancer. Dr Shenoy says, “In head and neck cancer patients there is over expression of epidermal cells and this drug checks that.” 

The Indian version of the Anti-EGFR drug was originally tested on 100 patients in the city and yielded great results. The drug has since been approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for marketing. A move Dr Shenoy hopes will bring down the cost of the drug further. He says, “We hope that marketing the drug will bring the costs down. Head and neck cancers are more among economically weaker sections of society and the cost of the drug coming down will help enormously.”