Cipla–mAbxience partnership in South Africa

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Cipla Medpro announced a partnership agreement with the global biotechnology company mAbxience in March 2022. This aims to provide essential oncology and respiratory-related biosimilars in South Africa.

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The Cancer Alliance report CA03/2021, reported that South Africa faces a crisis in terms of affordable access to medicines, particularly in the treatment of cancer. Patients are faced with first-world prices and there is little competition between products. For example, a course of standard treatment for early-stage human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive (HER2+) breast cancer, often treated with doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, docetaxel, trastuzumab, would cost about 10 years of average annual wages in South Africa [1]. The launch of more, lower-cost biosimilar products would facilitate access to medicines in the region.

Cipla Medpro is the South African arm of Indian pharmaceutical company, Cipla Limited. This was the first company to launch Filgrastim Teva for oncology and haematology patients in South Africa in 2018. In addition, the company Cipla has made a huge impact on the HIV/Aids pandemic by dramatically slashing the prices of antiretrovirals to less than US$1 a day. Cipla has a leading presence in the South African market, it is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in South Africa by volume and third largest by value.

In 2020, Cipla entered a partnership with Alvotech in South Africa [2] to bring five biosimilar medicines to market – two oncology treatments and three autoimmune disease treatments. Under the terms of this partnership Cipla controls the commercialization of the products in the region. Now, together with mAbxience, a high growth biotechnology company, the companies hope to improve access to low-cost life-saving biosimilar medicines in South Africa.

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References
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. WHO considers cost of cancer drugs and how to increase access [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Apr 8]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/reports/WHO-considers-cost-of-cancer-drugs-and-how-to-increase-access
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. New Alvotech partnerships in South Africa and China [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Apr 8]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/pharma-news/New-Alvotech-partnerships-in-South-Africa-and-China

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