Cipla and mAbxience join forces to ensure affordable access to oncology treatments


Cipla Medpro, South Africa’s third largest private sector pharmaceutical company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Cipla Limited, India (“Cipla”), has finalized a partnership agreement with global biotech company mAbxience, to supply oncology and respiratory biosimilars to South Africa.

These medicines for the treatment of cancer are included in the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.

The mAbxience partnership will allow Cipla to continue its philosophy of ensuring equitable access to affordable and life-saving medicines. Most other biosimilar treatments, especially in oncology, create an expensive burden on the payer or the patient and are often inaccessible to patients who need this critical treatment.

A biosimilar is a biological product that is very similar and has no clinically significant differences from an existing approved reference biological product, and which is produced from living cells using biotechnology. Biosimilars, while more affordable, are developed with equivalent efficacy, safety and quality to the reference biologic.

In 2018, Cipla paved the way for more affordable treatments in the fight against dreaded diseases with the launch of the first biosimilar medicine, Filgrastim Teva, for oncology and hematology patients in South Africa. Cipla also recently launched a biosimilar for the treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases.

According to Cancer Alliance report CA03/2021, South Africa is facing a crisis in terms of affordable access to medicines, especially in the treatment of cancer. According to Fatima Hassan of the Health Justice Initiative, “Most patients cannot afford the drugs and treatments because they are priced for first world markets. Some also benefit from extended periods of exclusivity, meaning they have little or no competition.”

Price and accessibility of difficult treatments

Cipla changed the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic during its most severe phase more than 20 years ago, by drastically reducing the prices of antiretrovirals to less than 1 dollar per day, compared to the annual treatment cost in force of $12,000 per patient. This has revolutionized HIV/AIDS from being a perceived death sentence to a disease managed like any other chronic medical condition.

Cipla South Africa CEO Paul Miller said, “Cipla is built on the foundation of ensuring affordable and accessible medicines for patients in need. Cipla has focused on oncology to help make an equally profound difference in the lives of patients. We want people to live long and healthy lives, and quality medicines are not just the privilege of the few, but a right of all.

Recently, Cipla also received regulatory approval for lenalidomide – a life-saving drug that has been shown to enhance immune system cells that identify and attack cancer cells – a development that resolves the disparity when it comes to cancer. access and affordability of this drug.


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