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Thu, 05/16/2024 - 12:31
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CU, GPO Jointly Develop Cancer Immunotherapy Drugs

BANGKOK, May 16 (TNA) - Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine announced a partnership with the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) to accelerate the development of antibody immunotherapy drugs for cancer treatment. 
The goal is to make these drugs available to Thai patients within the next three years at a significantly lower cost.
Antibody immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses the patient's own immune system to fight cancer cells. It is considered a standard of care for many types of cancer due to its high efficacy, low side effects, and broad range of indications for treating various types of cancer. However, the high cost of these drugs, often exceeding 100,000 
The research team at the Center of Excellence in Cancer Immunotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, has been working since 2018 to develop an antibody immunotherapy drug for cancer treatment. 
They have successfully developed a cell line for antibody production, an industrial-scale manufacturing process, and have tested the drug's efficacy in mice and its safety in monkeys. They are now producing the drug in a GMP-compliant factory.


The partnership with the GPO will allow for further research, development, production, and distribution of the drug, making it more accessible to cancer patients.
Dr. Trirak Pisitkul, Center of Excellence in Cancer Immunotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University said antibody immunotherapy has been researched worldwide, and its effectiveness varies depending on the type of cancer. For some types, it is 50% effective, while for others, it is 5-10% effective. It also depends on the stage of the patient's disease. But without this drug, patients have no chance at all.
The Director-General of the GPO Mingkwan Suphanpong said that the organization is ready to collaborate with Chulalongkorn University to conduct clinical trials of the produced antibody drug in lung cancer patients. The first patient is expected to be enrolled in the study by 2025, and the data collected will be used to register the drug with the FDA.


The antibody immunotherapy drug for cancer treatment is expected to be available for use within the next three years, starting with lung cancer patients and then expanding to other types of cancer. 
The price of the drug is expected to be reduced by 50% in the first year, from over 3 million baht to 1.5 million baht per person. This will provide another option for cancer patients to access effective treatment and create sustainable health security for Thai people. -819 (TNA)