R-Pharm`s project on the development of olokizumab has been declared as the Runner-up in the category “Good Health and Well Being” of the BRICS Solutions for SDG Awards 2021.
The awarded project was launched by R-Pharm in 2016. The Phase 3 clinical trial of olokizumab, a novel treatment to manage RA was designed in cooperation with FDA and EMA and enrolled 2,444 patients from 19 countries. It is one of the largest projects in Russian pharma: R-Pharm invested over 300 million dollars in its development since the launch of the project.
The 2021 contest was held under the Indian BRICS Chairmanship and brought together participants from five BRICS countries: Russia, India, Brazil, China, and South Africa. This year all projects were focused on solutions meeting United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, affordable and clean energy and clean water and sanitation.
The nominations were put through a rigorous evaluation by an esteemed jury comprising experts from all the BRICS member nations. The international jury evaluated the application with reference to the project`s relevance, approach, efficiency, sustainability, collaboration, uniqueness and scalability.
The awarding ceremony to honor the finalists and winners will be held online.
Development of Olokizumab
While treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has considerably improved over recent decades, there is still no cure nor even a single medicine being able to help the vast majority of patients. Depending on local medical environment and morbidity features, 25% to 45% of RA patients does not respond to the conventional therapy and require an anti-RA biological drug as an add-on or replacement. About 1/3 of those patients would remain suffering from the disease and in need for a proper replacement, often resulting in several switches before the selection of an appropriate remedy. Being effective both in biologically naïve and in difficult-to-treat patients, olokizumab has been recognized by the medical society as a valuable input to the rheumatologist’s palette. The drug is also in research to prove its ability to help the most challenging RA sub-groups as well as populations bearing other illnesses.
BRICS Solutions Awards
BRICS Solutions Awards is the international contest to choose the best ways to improve quality of life and living standards in BRICS countries. Against the background of the challenges caused by the pandemic, BRICS Solutions Awards becomes even more significant, since it shall signal the BRICS countries’ unity and solidarity, and their political will and practical readiness to find joint solutions to the common issues. It shall demonstrate to the countries in the most difficult situations and the most vulnerable communities that they can rely on the BRICS countries’ support, and that no one will be left behind.