Mumbai: Cipla Ltd said on Wednesday it has launched the country’s first biosimilar drug, a generic version of anti-rheumatic medicine Etanercept, through a tie-up with China-based Shanghai CP Guojian Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

A biosimilar is a generic version or a copy of a biopharmaceutical drug.

Cipla’s new drug, branded Etacept, offers treatment at 6,150 a dose to patients suffering from the chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints.

Regular anti-rheumatic drugs are considered the first line of treatment but are not effective for about 40% of the patients suffering from the disorder. In such cases, biologics such as Etanercept play a significant role in controlling the disease, Cipla said in a statement.