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China's self-developed lung cancer drug available nationwide

(Xinhua)    10:45, December 18, 2020

HANGZHOU, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Ensartinib hydrochloride, a targeted drug for lung cancer developed by a Chinese firm, has been available in hospitals and pharmacies nationwide since Wednesday, according to its developer Beta Pharma.

The Guangzhou-based Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center prescribed the medication on Wednesday, first in China.

Lung cancer is China's leading cause of mortality and morbidity in malignant tumor diseases, among which about 80 to 85 percent are non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK), one of the major carcinogenic drivers of NSCLCs, may be activated by genetic lesions in a certain percentage of patients with NSCLCs.

Previously, NSCLC patients in China had to rely on imported ALK inhibitors. Ensartinib hydrochloride, as a new generation of potent ALK inhibitor, represents an important achievement made by China in the development of antitumor drugs, according to Sun Yan, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

At the end of 2018, Ensartinib hydrochloride was submitted for market application in China, and the medicine was officially approved for sale on Nov. 19, 2020.

In recent years, the Chinese government has been committed to speeding up the registration and approval of new anti-cancer drugs from home and abroad and developing domestic anti-cancer medicines in replacement of costly imported drugs that are urgently needed in clinical practice.

Ding Lieming, chairman of Beta Pharma, said third-phase clinical research of Ensartinib hydrochloride is being done overseas so that patients from other countries may benefit in the future.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Meng Bin, Liang Jun)

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