Epirubicin HCl

CAS 56390-09-1

General Information

Epirubicin HCl belongs to a class of drugs termed anthracyclines and is primarily used for the treatment of breast cancers after surgical resection. Anthracyclines are a type of antibiotic isolated from the gram-positive bacteria Streptomyces.


They are commonly used as chemotherapy agents and exert their antineoplastic effects by targeting the replication of DNA. Epirubicin HCl is often preferred over the anthracycline doxorubicin as it has been shown to have fewer side effects.


Epirubicin HCl became FDA approved as an adjuvant therapy for the treatment of axillary node positive breast cancers following resection under the trade name Ellence in 1999.


It is currently manufactured through large-scale semi-synthetic methods using daunorubicin as starting material for its preparation. Semi-synthesis is a type of chemical synthesis that uses compounds isolated from abundant, natural sources as starting material.

About the API

Systematic name (7S,9S)-7-[(2R,4S,5R,6S)-4-amino-5-hydroxy-6-methyloxan-2-yl]oxy-6,9,11-trihydroxy-9-(2-hydroxyacetyl)-4-methoxy-8,10-dihydro-7H-tetracene-5,12-dione;hydrochloride
Trade name(s) Ellence
Molecular Formula C27H30ClNO11
Molecular Weight 579.98 g/mol
Physical properties red-orange powder
Therapeutic category Oncology
Available formulations Injectables
Regulations Canada DMF Flag Canada DMF CEP Flag CEP EU DMF Flag EU DMF Japan DMF Flag Japan DMF Korea DMF Flag Korea DMF US DMF Flag US DMF