Dragon Pharmaceuticals (OTCBB: DRUG) is pleased to announce that it’s Brazilian partner, Itaca Laboratorios Ltda., has placed an additional order for $1.8 million worth of Dragon’s EPO for delivery in 4Q 2001.
This is in addition to a previous order for $1.4 million placed in January of this year, and brings Dragon Pharmaceuticals’ total orders from Itaca to $3.2 million for 2001. Additionally, Itaca has spun-off a new business, Biolotus, which will handle Dragon’s current and pipeline products, as well as collaborate with Dragon on new drug development.
Biolotus, headed by CEO Dr. Joao Transmontano, is in the process of aggressively seeking registration for Dragon’s EPO throughout the remainder of Latin America. This region represents a largely under-served market for biotech products, and only a few countries, such as Brazil and Mexico, have universal healthcare systems that offer reimbursement for EPO therapy. In the poorest countries of the region, such as Nicaragua, Peru, and Ecuador, only a fraction of eligible patients can afford treatment with EPO and other biotech drugs.
According to Dragon’s CEO and President, Dr. Longbin Liu, “We appreciate the chance that Biolotus has given us to bring a high-quality and truly low-cost EPO to the patient populations in the most need.” Making EPO “is not exactly rocket science,” quipped Dr. Liu, “but knowing how to make it right and make it so average people can afford it is as close as it gets—and by showing we can do it, we validate our business model.”