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Shantha Bio launches its 4th r-DNA product

Our Regional Bureau  |  Hyderabad 

Shantha Biotechnics Limited has unveiled its fourth r-DNA product, a recombinant DNA erythropoietin (EPO), in pre-filled syringes form under the brand 'Shanpoietin'.
The product was launched by M K Bhan, secretary of Department of Biotechnology, at the second Asian Chapter Meeting of International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis on Sunday.
Addressing a press conference here, Varaprasad Reddy, managing director of Shantha Biotechnics Limited, said, "The country has been witnessing over 1.5 lakh new cases of chronic renal failure every year, with half of these patients requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation. Hence there is a need for an indigenous EPO."
Erythropoietin is used in the treatment of anemia. The gene for erythropoietin has been cloned in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) expression vector and expressed extra-cellularly. It is the only technology in India where the CHO cells have been adapted to serum-free media and grown in fermenters, according to Reddy.
Though a number of imported EPO brands were currently available in the country, he said that only about 10 per cent of CRF patients have access to world class EPO therapy.
"Shanpoietin has been developed keeping in mind the highest levels of efficacy and patient safety and will be priced between Rs 625 and Rs 650 for a dose of 2,000 IU," Reddy added.
The company has spent over Rs 20 crore on research and development for the product over a period of five years.
"The Indian EPO market is currently estimated at around Rs 75 crore with 70 per cent of imported drugs and the company expects to record sales of Rs 10 crore a year on the product," Reddy said.

First Published: Tue, January 25 2005. 00:00 IST