China's First Homegrown Anti-Cancer Drug to be Handed out Free of Charge
A working group of Chinese associations has agreed that Conmana will be distributed to those needing it free of charge. It's about the last thing you'd expect to hear in today's big business friendly, entrepreneurial China but in this case at least, profits are taking a back seat to national pride.
Conmana (Icotinib Hydrochloride) is an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed for cancer targeting therapy by Zhejiang Beta Pharma. In August of 2011, after concluding a number of preclinical trials in which Conman demonstrated strong efficacy in inhibiting tumor cell growth, the drug was put on the retail market.
Conmana has raised excitement all through its development, especially when comparative trials against a proven foreign-made anti-cancer drug showed Icotinib Hydrochloride to be both faster-acting and more effective than the control drug.
As China's first independently developed small molecule-targeted anti-cancer drug, Conmana is a feather in the hat for both Zhejiang Beta Pharma and China's rapidly emerging pharmaceutical industry.
In an unexpectedly selfless gesture, Zhejiang Beta Pharma in association with the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau, China Pharmaceutical Industry Research and Development Association, and the Beijing Chest Hospital at the Capital University of Medical Sciences agreed to establish new offices in more than 40 cities nationwide tasked with handing out Conmana to people in need, free of charge.
Zhejiang Beta Pharma is one of China's leading pharmaceutical companies. Their stated mission primarily to focus on the “discovery, development and commercialization of new drugs to treat cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.” The company's main production facilities are located in High Tech Park, Hangzhou with an R&D center situated in China's capital, Beijing. (via People's Daily and MIMS)