India’s first chemo syrup is here, to benefit 10,000 kids a year | India News

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MUMBAI: Doctors from Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Centre in collaboration with IDRS Labs in Bengaluru have developed India’s first and only chemotherapy drug, 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP), to be available in a syrup form. It is crucial to combat Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), the commonest form of blood cancer affecting children.
Around 10,000 children aged 1-10 years diagnosed with ALL are expected to benefit from the drug annually.The oral suspension effectively tackles various challenges associated with the existing tablet formulation, including issues related to dosage precision, flexibility and tolerability. Liquid formulations of 6-MP have been available in Europe and US for a long time, but kids in developing countries didn’t have access to it, Tata doctors said.
The child-friendly formulation is available in the form of a powder for oral suspension, commercially available under the trade name PREVALL. Tata doctors said it can be reconstituted into a 100 ml oral suspension at a concentration of 10mg/ml. “Up until now, less-than-ideal practices such as tablet crushing or resorting to alternate day dosing were employed to meet the specific dosing needs in children,” said Dr S D Banavali, director-academics, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, and a senior paediatric hemato-oncologist.
Dr Girish Chinnaswamy, professor and head, department of paediatric oncology at Tata Hospital, said formulations such as PREVALL would help in ensuring dose optimisation. PREVALL is accompanied by a syringe and a Press In Bottle Adapter (PIBA) that allow precise dosing tailored to a patient’s body
Dr Vikram Gota, professor of clinical pharmacology, ACTREC, said the powder for oral suspension is designed to ensure stability of the drug in hot/humid conditions and is quite distinct from the liquid formulation.


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