IICT researchers crack eribulin code

July 16, 2018 0 By CH Unnikrishnan

Know-how may help produce cheaper generic version of breast cancer drug eribulin in large scale

Scientists from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad has come out with a cost-effective technology to produce eribulin, a key drug used in breast cancer chemo therapy.

The team of IICT researchers who have succeeded in finding a way to synthesize key fragments of eribulin, has been led by its director, Dr Srivari Chandrasekhar, a senior technologist well-known for his research oriented towards drug development.
The know-how will enable the drug makers to manufacture generic version of eribulin in large scale and at significantly low cost. A single vial of erubulin costs anywhere between Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 40,000 in India.

Eribulin, which is currently sold under the brand name Halaven, is manufactured by Eisai Inc of Japan.

Eribulin is a non-taxane microtubule dynamics inhibitor that is a synthetic analogue of halichondrin B, a product isolated from the marine sponge Halichondria okadai.

US Food and Drug Administration granted approval for eribulin mesylate for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer on November 15, 2010. The drug was given marketing approval for treating breast cancer patients who have previously received an anthracycline and a taxane in either the adjuvant or metastatic setting and at least two chemotherapeutic regimens for the treatment of metastatic disease.

Eribulin is also approved for the treatment of inoperable liposarcoma in patients who received prior chemotherapy that contained an anthracycline drug by USFDA in January 28, 2016. Further, eribulin is being investigated for use in a variety of other solid tumours, including non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer and sarcoma.

The IICT scientific team has already transferred the technology to a private pharmaceutical company, which will be able to manufacture the generic form of anti-cancer drug, reports said.

Eribulin is currently protected by four active patents in the United States. First of the patents expires on June 16, 2019, the last one will expire on July 2023. Launch of the drug before the expiry of valid patent could lead to a legal row with patent holders.