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Iran among three countries producing anticancer drug ibrutinib

This file photo shows a cancer-stricken Iranian youngster. (via IRNA)

Iran has become the third country in the world to indigenize production of an anticancer drug known as ibrutinib, which is used to treat various types of blood cancer.

Speaking on Saturday, the R&D director of the Iranian knowledge-based company that has produced the drug said it is used to treat various types of leukemia and lymphoma, and is also used for patients that have received transplants.

Before its domestic production, Iran imported ibrutinib, but it is now produced inside the country. In addition to the drug itself, the Iranian company has also indigenized the technical know-how for production of its raw materials. 

At present, Iran, along with China and India, are the only countries in the world that possess the technical knowledge to produce raw materials for ibrutinib.

Domestic production of the drug came after five years of intense research and it inhibits an enzyme that speeds up proliferation of cancerous cells, thus preventing their growth.

One of the main advantages of the Iranian drug is its competitive price compared to its foreign counterpart.

Ibrutinib's global market is estimated to be worth more than $10 billion and the company's officials say Iran will start exporting it after domestic need for the drug is met and necessary permits for its international supply are obtained.

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