January 18, 2014 / 9:55 AM / 6 years ago

Biocon to start selling breast cancer drug in India in February

India's Biocon Ltd Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw speaks during the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Kuala Lumpur September 13, 2011. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Biocon Ltd said its generic version of Roche’s Herceptin breast cancer treatment would be available to patients in India from the first week of February.

Bangalore-based Biocon jointly developed biosimilar trastuzumab, which received the Indian drug regulator’s marketing approval in November, with U.S.-based Mylan Inc.

About 150,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in India, of which 25 percent are eligible for treatment with trastuzumab, Biocon said.

Roche decided not to pursue a patent application for its breast cancer drug Herceptin in India, paving the way for generic drugmakers to produce cheaper copies, known as biosimilars because they are not identical to the original drug.

Global sales for Herceptin were valued at about $6.4 billion in 2012, including about $21 million in India, Biocon said.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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