Lupin, Natco get FDA nod to launch generic version of Gleevec cancer drug

Gleevec has annual US sales of $655 million

Pharmaceutical major Lupin and partner Natco Pharma received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell a generic equivalent of Novartis Pharmaceuticals’ Gleevec cancer tablets in the US market.

Imatinib Mesylate Tablets, in 100 and 200 mg doses, have annual sales of around $655 million in the United States, Lupin said, making the drug one of the bigger ones in the market.

Imatinib Mesylate is used to treat certain types of cancer such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, chronic myeloid leukemia, gastrointestinal stromal tumors and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases.

It is a chemotherapy drug that works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells.

Lupin is one of the world’s biggest makers of generic drugs, and sells both branded and generic formulations, biotechnology products and pharmaceutical ingredients globally.

It is the world’s biggest manufacturer of anti-TB medicines and focuses on cardiovascular, diabetology, asthma, pediatric, CNS, GI, anti-infective and NSAID segments of the pharma market.