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Group managing director Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar said the HAPI plant would produce various oncology drugs that were clinically proven to fight against many types of cancers.
KUALA LUMPUR: Pharmaceutical firm Duopharma Biotech Bhd, through wholly-owned subsidiary Duopharma HAPI Sdn Bhd, will soon manufacture its second oncology drug at its first-in-Malaysia highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredient (HAPI) Plant in Shah Alam to help address the paucity of affordable alternatives to treat cancer.

Group managing director Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar said the HAPI plant would produce various oncology drugs that were clinically proven to fight against many types of cancers.

The HAPI plant is equipped to produce a wide portfolio of cancer medicines to help to treat, among others, breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, and blood cancer, making it the first cancer medicine manufacturing facility in Malaysia.

Duopharma Biotech group is embracing innovation and technology to serve patients who need specific and targeted therapies that can be produced by our new state-of-the-art HAPI Plant, he said in a statement to Bernama today.

The facility is also fully capable of producing medicines to treat hormonal imbalance and highly potent medicines for cardiovascular, central nervous system and musculoskeletal diseases. In the first quarter of this year, Duopharma Biotech successfully manufactured and commercialised its first product (letrozole), which is prescribed for breast cancer treatment.

Leonard Ariff revealed that the HAPI plant’s next product would be the first locally manufactured drug to treat chronic myeloid leukemia for both adults and children.

"The medicine which will be produced locally is targeted to be commercialised in due course,” he said.

This medicine produced at the HAPI plant, which is available at an affordable price, will enable patients especially in the low and middle income categories to have access to the treatment.

"Affordability and access issues are especially prevalent amongst the financially challenged and there is evidence that out-of-pocket costs for such prescription drugs to treat chronic diseases not only impose a financial burden but result in reduction in medication adherence leading to worsening health outcomes.

"Our objective in establishing the HAPI plant in Malaysia is premised on a mission to offer medication to address the lack of alternatives while delivering equitable and affordable access to prescription medications. The plant will also provide some level of self-sufficiency to the country in terms of the specific oncology medications,” he said.

The HAPI facility is a Good Manufacturing Practice certified plant by the Malaysian National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). This ensures that production and quality control consistently meet the highest standards.

Duopharma Biotech is also currently engaging with pharmaceutical companies across the globe to bring high-end technologies and allowing for technology transfer which enables it to locally manufacture high-value drugs.

This is expected to further strengthen the company’s position as the leading pharmaceutical player in Malaysia, and help it achieve its target of being a leading pharmaceutical company in Southeast Asia.

"We are widening our product portfolio by offering not just oncology medicines but also psychotropic drugs, which is an emerging market in Malaysia.

"Duopharma Biotech has already established a strong presence in the anti-psychotic sector and is collaborating with our partners to bring in more locally manufactured psychotropic drugs into our pipelines due to their huge market potential,” he added. - Bernama

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