Can Iran Solve the Current U.S. Doxil/Caelyx Cancer Drug Shortage?
Posted by Paul Cacciatore on February 17, 2012
Iran expects to bring a cancer nanodrug called “Sinadoxosome” to market next month. Sinadoxosome is apparently similiar to pegylated liposomal doxorubicin which is marketed under the brand name “Doxil” in the U.S. and “Caelyx” in Europe. Doxil/Caelyx has been in extreme short supply in the U.S. and Europe, thereby causing potential detriment to many ovarian cancer patients.
Iran inaugurated the production line of an anti-cancer nanodrug under the name “Sinadoxosome” in the Northern city of Rasht, and the medicine will soon come to market.
In addition to producing the amount of nanodrug required by Iran, the new drug production line makes possible the exportation of the drug to other countries. The drug acquired the necessary certificates from Nanotechnology Committee of the Ministry of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education in November 2011.
Dr. Mahmoud Reza Ja’fari, the Managing Director of Exir Nano Sina Company, told the Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council’s reporter that the anti-cancer drug Sinadoxosome would be presented to the market next month.
“This product has been produced by the knowledge-based company Exir Nano Sina in association with Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council. It has acquired the production certificate from the Ministry of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education,” Dr. Ja’fari added.
Pointing to the fact that the production of this medicine had been “monopolized” by European countries (under the “Caelyx” brand name) and by the United States (under the “Doxil” brand name), the Head of Nanotechnology Research Centre of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences said: “The importation of this medicine cost [sic] $5 mln annually. However, this medicine will be presented to the patients at one-third of the price of the foreign drug after the establishment of Sinadoxosome production line.”
Sinadoxosome contains nano liposomes that contain doxorubicin anti-cancer medicine. It targets the tumor tissue and boosts the effect of the medicine but decreases its side effects. The medicine has applications in the treatment of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, and Kaposi’s sarcoma (a type of soft tissue cancer).
The production line involving the Sinadoxosome anti-cancer drug was established on February 8, 2012, in the presence of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council’s authorities and the managing director and researchers of the Sobhan Oncology Pharmaceutical Company.
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In the YouTube video presented below, U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, delivered the opening statement at a 2011 committee hearing examining the impact of drug shortages in America.
Source: Iran to Present New Anti-Cancer Nanodrug to Market Soon, Iran Nano-Technology Initiative Council, February 15, 2012.
Additional Doxil & Drug Shortage Information:
- Important Updates on DOXIL® Supply Shortage, Doxil.com
- What’s Behind Our National Drug Shortages?, by Glenn Braunstein, M.D., The Huffington Post, February 6, 2012.
- Shortage of prescription drugs, by Tracy Connor, New York Daily News, January 21, 2012.
- Gatesman ML, Smith, TJ, The Shortage of Essential Chemotherapy Drugs in the United States; N Engl J Med 2011; 365:1653-1655.