Hutchison China Meditech (HMC) announced the first commercial launch of fruquintinib capsules (Elunate) in China. The market launch of fruquintinib was conducted through collaboration with HCM’s partner Eli Lilly and Company. Fruquintinib is being developed for the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC).
CRC is the second most common cancer type in China, with about 380,000 new cases per year. The National Medical Products Administration of China (NMPA) first approved Fruquintinib in September 2018 for the treatment of advanced CRC. It became the first pharmaceutical developed for a mainstream oncology indication to be unconditionally approved in China.
Fruquintinib ® treats CRC that has been previously treated with fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin and irinotecan. This includes patients who previously received or are unsuitable for anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy and/or anti-epidermal growth factor receptor therapy.
HCM has established a manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China, to produce fruquintinib. Given the broad relevance of anti-angiogenesis therapies in cancer biology and the observed effects in various cancers to date, it is developing fruquintinib in multiple further indications, including in combination with other cancer therapies.
Simon To, HCM’s Chairman commented: “We are very proud to have brought fruquintinib from its initial discovery through to its first sale, and now look forward to seeing patients in China benefit from this important new therapy. This achievement reinforces Chi-Med’s position as a fast emerging biotech company, and illustrates China’s capability to emerge as an important global force in oncology innovation.”