Drug developed in partnership with USP supports Biolab's international presence

Portal Panorama Farmacêutico | 09/17/2019
Established 22 years ago, Biolab is the youngest of Brazil's main pharmaceutical laboratories and is guided by innovation to accelerate its international presence. Behind the company's international strategy is its main drug, the antiemetic Vonau Flash (ondansetron), used for vomiting and nausea. Developed by the University of São Paulo (USP), with financial support from Biolab, the drug has been a success.
 
"This is the largest incremental innovation done by a pharmaceutical company in Brazil in partnership with a university," affirms CEO Cleiton de Castro Marques. Today the drug represents 90% of all royalties destined to USP. Just this year the university stands to receive more than BRL 4 million from Biolab. The company's goal is to launch Vonau Flash in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. "The drug is already registered in Mexico, Central America, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. Its formulation is also being adapted in our laboratory in Canada, with a focus on the North American and European market," says Marques.
 
The antiemetic represents more than 50% of the country's anti-nausea market and is differentiated by its ability to dissolve orally in only 15 to 20 seconds, with rapid effects in the organism. Studies began in 2004 and the patent was granted on March 13, 2018. In August of this year, the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) recognized the drug's innovations and maintained the patent with Biolab and USP.
 
Another medicine driving expectations for international expansion is the antifungal Zilt (dapaconazole). The first product of radical innovation developed by a pharmaceutical company in Latin America, it is expected to hit the market in the second half of next year. The pharmaceutical formula was 100% developed by Biolab, the result of eight years of work, and has the required patent for the main international markets.
 
According to Biolab's CEO, the biggest obstacles to innovation in Brazil continue to be regulatory requirements, which need to become more dynamic, as well as the need for greater agility from the INPI and patent analysis agencies. "You can't wait for 12 to 15 years to have a patent analyzed," he emphasizes. Another point is the claim that industries have brought to the Drug Market Regulation Chamber (CMED) so that companies can be compensated for innovation.
 
Biolab launched 40 products this year consisting of generics and brand names. The company also earmarked BRL 450 million for the construction of an industrial complex in Pouso Alegre (MG), which will be partially operational in 2020 and fully operational at the end of 2022. The expectation is to generate about 800 direct jobs.
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