Dr. Reddy's launches Cresp

HYDERABAD, India Generic drug maker Dr. Reddy’s has launched in India the world’s first follow-on version of a biotech anemia drug.

Dr. Reddy’s announced Monday the launch of Cresp (darbepoetin alfa), used to treat anemia in patients with chronic renal failure. Cresp is a biosimilar of Amgen’s Aranesp. Darbepoetin alfa is a version of epoetin alfa engineered to have a longer half life so that it lasts longer in the blood.

“Cresp will offer patients in India an improved treatment regimen at affordable pricing,” Dr. Reddy’s vice chairman and CEO G.V. Prasad said. “The launch of Cresp by Dr. Reddy’s is a significant step in redefining the treatment of anemia in India and underscores our commitment to provide affordable and innovative medicines to patients in India.”

Though Cresp will only be available in India, it marks Dr. Reddy’s as an additional player in the nascent global biosimilars market, so far dominated by Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Novartis subsidiary Sandoz and U.S.-based Hospira, all of which have become established manufacturers of biosimilars for the European market. Cresp is not the first biosimilar product from Dr. Reddy’s, which three years ago launched in India Reditux (rituximab), a biosimilar of Genentech’s and Biogen Idec’s cancer and autoimmune drug Rituxan and so far the only biosimilar monoclonal antibody in the world.

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