Tc99m tilmanocept only US FDA approved drug for lymph node biopsy in clinically node negative breast cancer patients :Vandana Subramania, Sayre Therapeutics

Sayre Therapeutics specializes in innovative treatments and medical devices commercialization in South Asia. Vandana Subramanian, Chief Business Officer & Co-founder, Sayre Therapeutics Pvt. Ltd says Sayre

Vandana Subramanian, Chief Business Officer & Co-founder, Sayre Therapeutics Pvt. Ltd

accelerates product access to patients in South Asia by partnering with global companies having limited or no commercial footprint in South Asia.

Kindly comment on the rising cost of treatment of cancer in India.

Cancer treatment has become a big challenge as the baseline treatment cost is Rs 3-5 lakh and can go up to Rs 10-15 lakh, affordability is a significant challenge for cancer treatment.

Majority of patients are not able to afford targeted drugs in cancer treatment that are required in advanced stages which can average a baseline treatment of ~4 lakhs to more targeted chemotherapy options of 15 lakhs. The government continues to make strides in building insurance schemes for the lower socio-economic demography, however it covers only a minuscule portion of the patient’s expenses and can certainly not cover targeted cancer care.

I understand that Sayre Therapeutics works in the field of oncology and immunology tell us about your products?

According to ICMR(Indian Council for Medical Research),India is likely to have over 17.3 lakh new cases of cancer and over 8.8 lakh deaths due to the disease by 2020 with cancers of breast, lung and cervix topping the list. Every day we read about some or the other complications due to cancer which takes lives of large number of people. It’s the need of the hour to help country combat this rising epidemic. With the aim to help to SAARC countries, fight cancer Sayre Therapeutics was established.

We promote novel and/or differentiated drugs, devices and molecular diagnostics in-licensed from global pharmaceutical and biotech companies at much lower prices. Bringing global innovations to South Asian markets with high unmet need, Sayre focuses on the South Asian markets (SAARC) of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In these countries there is high disease burden and Sayre will contribute to improving the quality of care for cancers and autoimmune conditions.

There are several advancements in the oncology and immunology space in the western world. Being Asia’s only super-specialized distribution and commercialization platform for Oncology and Immunology products, Sayre accelerates product access to patients in South Asia by partnering with global companies having limited or no commercial footprint in South Asia.

How are your products different from the existing available products?

With low-income and rising disease burden, it becomes very important for us to observe these disease patterns at micro level. We should have a system that will understand people’s concern and provide solutions that will help.

Sayre has stepped in to carve out a way for high-quality medicines in India at much lower prices than it is in the country of origin. Sayre functions end-to-end, we speak with physicians to understand the gaps for a patient, be it monetary or be it the necessity to bring in a targeted drug which is not available in India.

We aim to bridge the gap between innovation, accessibility and availability. We introduce medicines with  clinical differentiators such as better efficacy and safety, increasing quality of care to patients in our regions. Drug delivery devices with advanced technologies such as needle-free injectors will provide a pain-free option in managing patients with chronic auto-immune disorders. Molecular diagnostic has made huge progress via Next Generation Sequencing panels that personalizing patient care by providing treatment regimen tailored to a particular patient. We have a

Tell us about your product pipeline?

Cancer treatment worldwide requires advanced level intervention to provide targeted therapies. While there has been a lot of development in the treatment portfolio across the nations, there still lies a lot of scope to further improvise the process. Sayre believes in providing supportive care which involves examination of solid and liquid tumors in the oncology space, novel cure for osteoarthritis and a needle-free device for rheumatoid arthritis. We have recently made in-roads into fields like Nuclear medicine and Interventional Oncology where there is a large scope to bring in newer innovations.

As an example, Tc99m tilmanocept is the only US FDA approved drug in the world for lymph node biopsy in patients with clinically node negative breast cancer. Yet another advanced diagnostic which is the only FDA approved one of its kind is for Cancer of Unknown Primary which Sayre has introduced in India.We aim to bring these advanced technologies in cost-effective manner in India with a vision that every patient can avail the benefits of these drugs and devices.

 How will cancer treatment evolve in the coming years?

 There are 15 lakh patients living with cancer in India, with 10 lakh new cancer cases every year with the mortality at an astounding 6 lakh every year which is almost 3 – 4 times that in the US. Only 12% go to hospitals for treatment in early stages primarily due to lack of awareness and under-diagnosis.

The healthcare delivery cycle in India is going through a process of transition, more so the tertiary specialty care of chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, kidney or liver failure, mental disorder, ageing and cancer. Approximately 1 million newly diagnosed cancer patients are seen in India each year and out of these nearly 50-60% present themselves at a disease stage suitable for curative cancer-directed therapy (CDT), which consist of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Depending upon the cancer type and stage of disease, the call on type of treatment is taken by healthcare providers.

The development has been relatively slow in developing countries as compared to developed ones for the treatment of cancer. However a lot of new drugs and innovative devices have been introduced specializing in oncology and immunology segment. While there has been a growth in awareness of the disease, there lies tremendous scope to further catalyze this growth.

How does Sayre therapeutics vision fit into it?

In order to help patients in curbing the cost of the treatment, Sayre has recently included financial assistance to a diagnostics product. While the product is still expensive for an average Indian consumer, it can accurately provide a patient and a physician with right diagnosis on the source of the tumor. Thereby, reducing costs significantly in treatment that otherwise a patient would incur.  Amongst the older patient community suffering from chronic ailments like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, the focus is on bringing higher quality of life by introducing home healthcare and self-administration of needle-free vaccines.  Our aim is to get the best treatment in country which is already available in west.

We believe that the only way to fight cancer and chronic ailments is availability of the best treatment options in India at the shortest time.


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