Updated on 21 August 2013
There are about 100 autoimmune diseases like psoriasis that affect humans. Other prominent auto-immune diseases are multiple scelorsis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus. Drugs have been developed only to treat about 10 diseases so far. Approximately one to two percent of population in USA and Europe suffers from psoriasis. In India also, it is estimated that about two percent or 12-24 million are affected by psoriasis.
Mazumdar-Shaw said Biocon started working on this drug 10 years ago on a Th1 pathway but serendipitously arrived at the Th17 pathway few years ago when the results were very encouraging.
Current treatments include a regiment of conventional immunosuppressants in most people and only a very minuscule section of patients in India and abroad are treated using biological drugs due to high costs.
Mazumdar-Shaw said Alzumab prices could come down if more patients start using it and efforts were on to make it widely available by educating doctors and the medical community about the effectiveness of Alzumab. Many patient access programmes will be developed in cooperation with patient advocacy groups.
Biocon officials are hopeful that the entry of an affordable version of the anti-psoriasis drug will lead to market creation and ensure more patients start using it. Currently, due to high prices most of the patients discontinue treatment of biological drugs mid-course. Biocon hopes that a few thousand patients will benefit from their affordable drug in a year.