President A P J Abdul Kalam today dedicated to the nation India's first indigenously developed drug for treating head and neck cancer.
Kalam congratulated Biocon scientists for developing the monoclonal antibody, BioMab EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor), which company officials said works by binding to cancer cell-specific antigens and inducing an immunological response against the target cell.
Bangalore-based Biocon's chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said the 'life-saving cancer drug' will hit the market in the next few months.
Company executives said though a large number of monoclonal antibodies have been launched in the country, they are beyond the reach of a majority of cancer patients because of their prohibitive cost.
They said Biocon's new drug will be effective in several types of cancer that express EGFR, including colo-rectal, pancreatic, metastatic breast, non small cell lung and brain cancers.
'BIOMab EGFR is indicated for use in combination with radiation therapy or chemotherapy in patients with positive expression of EGFR in squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck cancer,' the company said.
Kalam also inaugurated Biocon Park, the country's largest integrated bio-tech hub comprising an integrated cluster of laboratories and manufacturing facilities.
Built with a total investment of Rs 650 crore on a 90-acre plot, the park is the single largest capital investment made by Biocon in its 27-year history.