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Biocon Unveils Renal Therapies for Kidney Disorders

India's premier biotechnology firm Biocon Ltd Thursday announced the launch of renal therapy products for treating kidney disorders and reducing// the risk of such disease.

As the leading producer of immuno-suppressants in the subcontinent, the company has set up a nephrology division to market the new products -- Renodapt (Mycophenolate Mofeti), Tacrograf (Tacrolimus), Cyclophil Me (Cyclosporine micro emulsion), Rapacan (Sirolimus) and Erypro (rHuEpo).

"Our renal therapy will enable patients with transplanted kidneys to become immune to any side effects and make them feel compatible with the new organ. Similarly, Erthropoetin (Epo) will increase the hameoglobin level to develop resistance," Bicon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said at a preview of the product.

Prior to the launch, the company has undertaken extensive trials as per the statutory guidelines to demonstrate the safety and efficacy profile of its products. About 300 kidney patients who were administered the drugs responded well to the treatment.

"Our objective is to protect life affected by kidney failures with biotherapeutics and reduce the risk of the disease in future through research and innovative therapies," Shaw said.

Studies have revealed that kidney disease has grown to be a silent epidemic in the 21st century. Every year millions of people across the world are diagnosed with end stage renal disease (ESRD) necessitating kidney treatments.

"The total market size for nephrology products is about Rs.3 billion and is growing by about 20 percent annually. Of these, the market for immuno-suppressants is about Rs.1.25 billion. We are targeting a market share of 20-25 percent in the next three-five years despite aggressive competition from Indian and multinational players in the country," Biocon marketing president Rakesh Bamzai said.

According to "Kidney International", the official journal of the international societ y of nephrology, the incidence of ESRD is likely to be higher in India than in the developed countries, with gloerulonephritis being the most common cause, accounting for one-third of patients, while diabetic nephropathy accounts for about one-fourth of patients.

"In the absence of national registries, no reliable data is available on the incidence and prevalence of ESRD in India. Treatment of ESRD is a low priority for the cash-strapped public hospitals and in the absence of health insurance plans, less than 10 percent of all patients receive any kind of renal replacement therapy," Shaw added.


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