China’s newly developed cancer drug offers hope for domestic patients

A new cancer treatment drug has been developed by China, and recently began clinical trials, bringing enormous hope for cancer patients in China, reported on April 28.

Cancer has become the most common cause of death for Chinese people in recent years, and many people have lost their lives due to the high prices and inaccessibility of treatment.

According to China’s National Cancer Center, the number of new cancer cases reached 4.29 million in 2015, with a death toll of 2.81 million. Since 2006, China has been working to introduce a series of supportive policies for the research and development of new cancer drugs, which, being more economical and effective, are expected to replace the extremely expensive imported ones that are currently the only option for countless patients and families.

Innovent Biologics, a leading bio-pharmaceutical company in China, has developed the PD-1 monoclonal antibody-based drug, which has both proven effective in treating cancer and maintained a relatively low price point. The drug is currently undergoing clinical trials.

In 2015, Innovent Biologics also forged a comprehensive strategic cooperation with Eli Lilly and Company, an American drug company with more than 140 years of history in pharmaceutical production. This cooperative agreement indicates that China’s research and development of cancer drugs has earned recognition from U.S. industry experts.

“It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to use the drug in the U.S., which is unaffordable for most Chinese people. So we have to change it. The annual expense of the domestically developed drug is estimated not to surpass 100,000 RMB [$14,500],” noted Yu Dechao, chairman of the board of Innovent Biologics.

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