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Russia invests in cancer nanodrug capacity and safety

By Gareth Macdonald , 16-Feb-2010

Rusnano, the group set up to promote Russia’s nanotechnology infrastructure, says nanodrug development partnership will improve patient access and cut cancer death rates across the country.

The project will focus on expanding production capacity for anticancer agents developed by the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences’ NN Blokhin Cancer Research Centre in Moscow using liposomal targeted delivery technology.

Rusnano will contribute RUB1.3bn (€31.6m) while Novouralsk-based pharma firm Medsintez, which will undertake commercial manufacture of the drugs developed by the Blokhin centre, will invest RUB2.6bn.

The production of liposome nanotechnology based versions of doxorubicin, lizomustin, tsifelin, aranoz, and bacteriochlorin, as well as of drugs delivered using immunoliposome and monoclonal antibodies, is slated to begin by 2014.

Olga Shpichko, Rusnano’s managing director, said: “Production of highly effective anti-cancer drugs in Russia will lower death rates from cancer among all population groups; it will increase the average lifespan and improve the quality of life.”

Shpichko went on to predict the additional capacity will reduce prices improve accessibility and allow the government to increase the amount of drugs it purchases for target programs without changing the budget.

Nanotech safety accord

In a separate agreement, Rusnano has teamed up with the Russian Federal Medical Biological Agency (FMBA) to ensure that nanodrugs are made in a way that ensures the “epidemiological well being of the country’s inhabitants.”

Under the agreement, RUSNANO and FMBA will develop technical and organizational measures to safeguard production and use of nanomaterials, nanotechnology, and products of the nanoindustry.

The organisations will also have a role in the creating of laws governing required safety standards for nanodrugs, covering everything from initial development and scientific research to production, consumption and disposal of the products.

Formation of the partnership follows just a few weeks after the US examined its rules on manotech drug safety.

The proposed laws, the Nanotechnology Safety Act of 2010 , would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to establish a nanotechnology safety programme at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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