NeoBiocon and Abraxis BioScience, Inc have introduced Abraxane (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) (albumin-bound) in the UAE for the treatment of breast cancer.

The drug is recommended for those patients who have failed after combination therapy for metastatic disease or relapse within six months of adjuvant chemotherapy. NeoBiocon is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi-based Neopharma and Biocon Ltd.

Abraxane is currently available in the UAE as a single-use 100 mg vial (as a lyophilized powder, to be reconstituted for intravenous administration).

The phase-III clinical trial in the US demonstrated that Abraxane nearly doubled the response rate, significantly prolonged time to progression, and significantly improved overall survival in the second-line setting versus solvent-based Taxol in the approved indication.

In the US pivotal head-to-head trial, the overall response rate of Abraxane was 33 per cent vs. 19 per cent compared to Taxol (P = .001), and Abraxane achieved a 25 per cent improvement in time to tumour progression (23.0 weeks vs. 16.9 weeks; hazard ratio = 0.75; P = .006) when compared to Taxol. Furthermore, patients receiving Abraxane in the second-line setting had a significantly prolonged survival by an additional 27 per cent compared to solvent-based Taxol (56.4 weeks vs. 46.7 weeks; P = 0.24). The tolerability with ABRAXANE and Taxol was comparable, despite the 50 per cent greater dose of paclitaxel administered as Abraxane.

"The launch of Abraxane in the UAE represents a major strategic step in our plan to provide safer and more effective cancer treatments on a global scale," said Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman and chief executive officer of Abraxis BioScience. "In addition to the UAE, our marketing agreement with Biocon covers more than ten countries, and we are working closely with national authorities throughout the region to receive regulatory approvals and commence marketing activities as soon as practicable."