Anti-cancer drug wins approval in European Union
An anti-cancer drug developed and produced by Songjiang-based pharmaceutical company Henlius has been approved by the European Commission for sale in the EU, Henlius and cooperation partner Accord Healthcare Limited announced on July 29.
Zercepac, a biosimilar anti-cancer medicine, treats all symptoms of cancers including HER2-positive early breast cancer, HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer and HER2-positive metastatic gastric cancer.
“The advancement and innovation in technologies paves the way for better, cheaper and more affordable biological drugs. We will keep on exploring how to apply cutting-edge biomedicine production technologies in accordance with our needs,” said Liu Shigao, founder and CEO of Henlius.
The company is focused on developing antibody biosimilar medicines, biobetters and new monoclonal antibodies.
Patented, original monoclonal antibodies are effective at targeting cancers. Their biosimilars, developed from the original drugs and having almost the same therapeutic effects, are cheaper.
Construction work at Henlius’ Songjiang production base started in June 2019. Once completed, the base will satisfy a capacity of 20-30 products’ global sales (including 5-10 biosimilars and 10-20 original drugs).
By the end of 2019 Songjiang had about 3,000 biomedicine-related companies. Among them, 210 are key companies and 64 large-scale industrial enterprises. The total output value of the district’s biomedicine industry in 2019 amounted to 8.37 billion yuan (US$1.21 billion), up 4.6 percent year on year.
The biomedicine company clusters in Songjiang mainly include the west zone area of Songjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone and Songjiang Jiuke Oasis Park. The former houses companies including Henlius, Xiuzheng Pharmaceutical Group and Haohai Biological Technology Co; the latter saw the settlement of Shanghai Lingang Jiuting Fudan Sci-tech Park, MedSci and Genergy Bio.