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Recepta Biopharma

Investment in new drugs

The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) is buying 16% of the capital of Recepta Biopharma, a Brazilian research and development company (R&D) that carries out clinical trials on patients with ovarian tumors, using a drug that is under development, the monoclonal antibody RebmAb100. The bank, through BNDES Participações, and two of the company’s private-sector partners, businessmen Emílio Odebrecht and Jovelino Mineiro, are going to invest R$ 35 million in the company to develop the second phase of the RebmAb100 trials and a second type of monoclonal antibody, RebmAb200. The two drugs may be tested on various types of cancer. 
Recepta is directed by José Fernando Perez, a retired professor from USP’s Institute of Physics, who was FAPESP’s scientific director between 1993 and 2005. The injection of funds is part of the strategy of the BNDES to strengthen the biotechnology industry by forming partnerships between R&D companies, such as Recepta, and companies responsible for the production and distribution of medication. “We’ll be taking a significant step toward reducing the vulnerability of the Brazilian National Health System, which is its total dependence on imported supplies of biotechnological products,” Pedro Palmeira from the BNDES told Valor Econômico. The monoclonal antibody RebmAb100 has received orphan drug status from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States for treating ovarian cancer. This status is granted to drugs that have proved to have effective potential for fighting relatively low incidence diseases, but are of little commercial interest.

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