Production and analysis of a biosimilar erythropoietin in Egypt
Wael M Ebied,1 Hytham M Ahmed,2 Fawzy A Elbarbry3
1SEDICO Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co External Partner, 6th of October City, Cairo, 2Pharmaceutical Analysis Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt; 3Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Pacific University Oregon, Hillsboro, OR, USA
Abstract: Although management of chronic diseases has been a major challenge for health care systems in developed and developing countries, biopharmaceuticals have been successful in treating many life-threatening conditions. However, the high cost of these agents restricts their availability to countries where patients and/or health care systems are able to afford them. Licensing these biopharmaceuticals as biosimilars after expiration of their patents might increase access to such medicines at an affordable price in developing countries. South Egypt Drug Industries Company (SEDICO) is an Egyptian pharmaceutical company that has had the opportunity to manufacture some of these drugs. SEDICO biotechnology products, such as insulin, erythropoietin, streptokinase, angiokinase, follicle-stimulating hormone, aprotinin, filgrastim, and somatropin, have been available on the Egyptian market for more than 6 years. For this paper, erythropoietin, which has been investigated over a number of years, was chosen as a representative example of SEDICO biotechnology products. Our findings confirm that SEDICO erythropoietin can compete with the originator epoetins on the Egyptian market with high quality and at a lower cost.
Keywords: biosimilars, developing countries, insulin, human growth hormone, erythropoietin, epoetin, Egypt
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