Recently, the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, from Brazil, published an article detailing how the company Recepta Biopharma plans to launch a type of cancer treatment that costs a fifth of what it is today.
The plan is to create a similar molecule that will replace the one created by the labs while maintaining the same successful structure of big pharmaceutical companies like Bristo Myers-Squibb (BMS), owner of Opdivo (nivolumabe) and Yervoy (ipilumumae), and of the MSD (Merck, in the United States), owner of Keytruda (pembrolizumabe).
The development of these medications would depend on the financing from Finep and of BNDES, current partners of Recepta; the money from research agencies like CNPq and Fapesp; the partnerships with universities like USP and Unifesp; and the support of foreign entities such as the biotech company Agenus, which is testing molecules in the United States. The first targets are colon and breast cancer, which together affect 16 thousand Brazilians every year.
A member of the Centro de Oncologia Dayan-Daycoval do Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein’s committee and an integral part of the medical board at the ARD Foundation, Doctor Antonio C. Buzaid commented on Recepta Bipharma’s initiative with enthusiasm.
“Recepta is a Brazilian company that is developing checkpoint inhibitors, both antiCTLA-4 and antiPD-1, to treat cancer. In addition to their high quality work, the company believes they’ll be able to reduce costs by approximately 80 percent. This would give SUS access to these medications. I have no doubts that this will be a reality in the near future and that Brazil will be proud of Recepta,” says Dr. Buzaid, who, in 1998, created the oncology center at the Hospital Sírio Libanes along with Dr. Raul Cutait and Dr. Frederico Costa.