Aurobindo Pharma on Friday said its wholly-owned arm, Eugia Pharma Specialities Ltd has entered into a voluntary sub-licensing agreement with Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to develop and market an anti-cancer drug.
The sub-licensing agreement for Nilotinib capsules, originally developed by Novartis, will be in 44 low and middle-income countries (LMIC), including the seven countries where patents on the product are pending or in force, Aurobindo Pharma said in a regulatory filing.
Nilotinib capsules are used for treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia.
"These are the first sub-licence agreements that MPP has signed for a cancer treatment that will be made available in the LMIC, through this licence. This product will be a good addition to Aurobindo's Oncology portfolio and will further strengthen our leadership in the generic Oncology medicine space," Aurobindo Pharma Vice Chairman & Managing Director K Nithyananda Reddy said.
He further said,"We are looking forward to start supplying the product at the earliest and to help reduce the risk of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in certain patients."
The product will be produced at the Eugia Pharma Specialities Ltd. Unit-I, Medchal, in Telangana, the company said adding it has adequate capacities to meet the global demand for the product across the licensed territory.
Eugia along with two other Indian drug firms Hetero and Dr Reddy's Laboratories, and Indonesian company BrightGene had signed sub-licence agreements with MPP to manufacture generic versions of Novartis' Nilotinib.
These are the first sub-licence agreements that MPP has signed for a cancer treatment and are the result of a licence agreement between MPP and Novartis Pharma AG in October 2022 for their patented cancer medicine, MPP had said in a statement.
MPP Executive Director Charles Gore said, "We are delighted to be working with these four generic manufacturers to develop generic Nilotinib and bring an affordable treatment option to people diagnosed with CML in these countries."
"At MPP, we are determined to show that voluntary licensing is a truly impactful way of delivering affordable treatments to tackle the ever-rising burden of cancer in LMICs."
The seven middle-income countries where patents on the product are pending or in force are Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tunisia.
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