• 14 December 2006
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Merieux Alliance acquires 60 percent stake in Shantha Biotechnics

Merieux Alliance acquires 60 percent stake in Shantha Biotechnics

Merieux Alliance, a French company has strengthened its presence in Asia by acquiring a 60 percent stake in Hyderabad-based Shantha Biotechnics. This investment will enable Merieux Alliance to strengthen its presence within the country, which has strong potential in the field of biology and significant needs in public health.

Merieux's partnership with Shantha Biotechnics corresponds to its aims in developing a global approach in the worldwide fight against infectious diseases, and this move has enabled its involvement in all linking areas of the healthcare chain: prevention, diagnostics, prognosis, new therapies and clinical monitoring. It provides the group with new possibilities with regard to preventive medicine, an area in which Merieux Alliance's companies Silliker, bioMerieux, Transgene and Advanced BioSciences Laboratories are already involved.

"This Indo-French alliance is likely to favor synergies in terms of research and clinical development between the group's companies. Shantha Biotechnics will also have access to the support provided by Merieux Alliance's international network. We have a great deal to learn from Varaprasad Reddy and from his team who have developed key expertise within the biological field, and with whom we share a vision of providing worldwide public healthcare services," said Alain Merieux.

He further noted that Varaprasad Reddy will continue as managing director of Shantha, "which becomes our worldwide decision centre for our prophylactic vaccine activities. He will be playing an important role at my side in developing the activities of Merieux Alliance mainly in Asia. Georges Hibon, who is a director of bioMerieux, will take over the chairmanship of Shantha Biotechnics."

Commenting on the partnership, Varaprasad Reddy, said, "This partnership with Mérieux Alliance will enable us to continue our chosen path, by giving us new scientific and technological means to fulfil our mission".

Abhey Yograj of Tecnova India, Gurgaon, played a vital role in bringing Shantha Biotechnics and Merieux Alliance together for this Indo-French alliance.


Cabinet sanctions Rs 137 crore for modernization of patent offices

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for implementation of the project for modernization and restructuring of patent offices in the 10th Five Year Plan at a revised cost of Rs 137.58 crore.

The modernized patent offices would be able to provide efficient services to scientific and industrial communities and would encourage creative and innovative activities thus leading to industrial and technological development. The patent offices are located in New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai.


Roche launches MabThera for the treatment of RA

Roche Scientific Company (India) today announced the launch of the drug Mabthera (rituximab) in India for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Mabthera, the first and only selective B cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis, is effective not only in controlling the symptoms but also inhibiting structural damage of joints caused by RA in the patients. This is particularly important considering that people with RA begin to suffer progressive, permanent joint damage early on in the disease, long before the onset of visible changes, such as joint deformity. Within the first two years, up to 70 percent of people with RA have X-ray evidence of joint destruction.

Mabthera has already received approval in the US and European Union. "Rheumatoid Arthritis is a crippling disease which affects the day-to-day functioning of the patient. Mabthera is an innovative drug with a unique mechanism of action. We are hopeful that Mabthera shall be able to offer lasting clinical benefit to patients in India who have failed to experience relief from the currently available treatment options," said Dr GL Telang, managing director, Roche Scientific Company (India).

Mabthera is approved and available in India for the last five years for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It is now recently approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.


Biozeen expands operations to Pennsylvania

Biozeen, a division of India-based Bangalore Biotech Labs, is setting up consulting operations in Pennsylvania, USA.

The integrated consulting, training and research firm Biozeen provides specialized services for the biopharmaceutical and biologics segment with end-to-end solutions in the design, delivery and operation of facilities. Currently, in its first year of operation, the company has to its credit $8 million state-of-the-art facility in the biotech nerve center of India-Bangalore.

"Our initial focus is to build a small consulting practice for the US clients, and then explore an organic as well as acquisition route to grow to a strength of 30-50 people over the next few years," said Cherian Philip, co-founder and chairman, Biozeen. Cherian was making the announcement of the aforesaid expansion at the company's Bangalore facility. He expects the US operations to get rolling from February 2007.

Dennis Yablonsky, secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, who had also joined the officials of Biozeen in making the announcement, congratulated the Biozeen team on their well-timed business model and strategy. He was in India on a weeklong trip and had spent his time scouting and scanning bilateral trade opportunities in the country. His entourage included an eight-company delegation
from Pennsylvania.


Jubilant opens new drug discovery center

Indian pharma major Jubilant Organosys inaugurated its integrated drug discovery services facility in Bangalore. Spread over an area of approximately 1,25,000 sft, the center will house over 500 Indian scientists specializing in multiple disciplines including biology, chemistry, structural biology, pharmacology, molecular modeling, crystallography and information technology, collaborate with their global counterparts in the US, Europe, and Japan. This integrated facility at Bangalore houses modern and sophisticated capabilities in molecular modeling, protein crystallography, medicinal chemistry, and invitro/invivo biology capabilities.

The center was inaugurated by the union minister for science and technology, Kapil Sibal.

The chairman and managing director of Jubilant Organosys, Shyam S Bhartia said the center would engage with Indian and global academia and pharmaceutical firms to make innovative drugs. "This center conceptualized five years ago is the first of its kind facility," added Shyam Bhartia.
The company's co-chairman and managing director, Hari S Bhartia said one third of the employees had come from the research side. It would collaborate with the government, academia, vendors and customers in aligning interests in developing innovation, he said.

The center focuses on collaborative development of novel molecules of interest that have potential therapeutic use to treat diseases in the areas of cancer, metabolic disorders (diabetes, obesity, cardio vascular diseases), tuberculosis and HIV. The discovery research includes design of modulators for specific sub-clause of kinases, proteases and G-Protein coupled receptor targets.

The center also engages in academic collaboration to develop enabling technology as well as biology. The center was set up at an estimated cost of Rs 70 crore and will house 500 scientists, the average age of them being about 26 years.

Jubilant Organosys is an integrated pharmaceutical industry player, one of the largest custom research and manufacturing services (CRAMS) and drug discovery and development services companies out of India. "We have presence across the pharmaceuticals value chain right from drug discovery, functional chemistry and clinical research services to custom research and manufacturing services for advance intermediates and fine chemicals, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Dosage Forms," said Hari Bhartia.

BioNews ICICI signs MoU with Maharashtra government

ICICI signs MoU with Maharashtra government

In a move aimed at making it easier to access financing options for the biotech industry, the ICICI Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Maharashtra. The MoU was signed at a seminar on "Bio Business Opportunities in Maharashtra" organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Government of Maharashtra, on November14, the day observed as Maharashtra Biotechnology Day by the state government.

Farhad Forbes, chairman, CII western region and director, Forbes Marshall, said, "The MoU between ICICI Bank and the state government is a positive move and should create a positive impact to the niche industry."

In a televised theme address, Dr (Mrs) Rama Mukherjee, member– CII National Committee on Biotechnology and president, R&D, Dabur Research Foundation, spoke of the vast opportunity that the industry was poised for and also the challenge for Maharashtra in creating an R&D cluster.

In his keynote address, VK Jairath, secretary, industries, energy and labour, Government of Maharashtra, shared the state government's initiatives in promoting the sector and also about the recently announced
industrial policy.

After the inaugural session, there was a panel discussion on "Challenges, Opportunities & Imperatives for growth of Biotechnology Sector." Utkarsh Palnitkar, partner, Ernst & Young, Vijay Chandok, senior general manager, SME Group, ICICI Bank, Dr J K Pal, head, department of biotechnology, University of Pune, Sanjay Khandare, joint CEO, MIDC and CL Rathi, managing director, Advanced Enzyme Technologies, shared their views on different topics like infrastructure, finance, human resources, industry overview and biopharma. Prasanto Biswal, CEO, International Biotech Park, Pune, moderated the panel session.


Advinus and Merck set up collaboration for discovery research

Advinus Therapeutics and Merck & Co. have formed a drug discovery and clinical development collaboration in the area of metabolic disorders.

Under this collaboration, both the companies will work together to develop clinically validated drug candidates for metabolic disorders, with Merck retaining the right to advance the most promising of these candidates into late-stage clinical trials.

As part of the deal, Advinus will receive an upfront payment and could potentially receive milestone payments of up to $74.5 million for each target included in the collaboration. Advinus is also eligible for royalties on the sales of any products that result from the collaboration. The collaboration will begin with two target programs, and could expand to include others over time.

"This collaboration provides an avenue for Advinus to gain access to cutting-edge technologies from Merck while leveraging its India-based discovery and development capabilities. Importantly, this agreement also reflects India's emerging role in bringing innovative and life-saving drugs to market with speed and cost-effectiveness," said Dr Rashmi Barbhaiya, CEO and managing director of Advinus.

Merv Turner, senior vice president, worldwide licensing and external research at Merck, said, "Merck is looking forward to establishing its first research-based collaboration in India with Advinus. This agreement furthers our strategy of building global alliances and our commitment to discovering and developing innovative medicines for metabolic disorders, a growing public health issue."


Advinus and Veeda forge strategic alliance

Advinus Therapeutics and Veeda CR have formed a strategic alliance to combine synergies from complementary capabilities. The companies intend to leverage each other's capabilities to create an integrated drug discovery through Phase II platform.

The alliance will offer packages involving preclinical and early clinical development, animal and human safety pharmacology, preclinical toxicology and pharmacology, clinical pharmacology as also microdosing capabilities to pick drug candidates on the basis of human PK data. The alliance will seek to leverage Veeda's biomarkers capabilities for preclinical and clinical applications.

The alliance will set a new precedence in the emerging drug discovery industry in India and will attract companies looking for preclinical and clinical services in the European and American geographies. Existing clients of both companies will also be able to leverage the seamless pre-clinical and early clinical development capabilities of the alliance.

Dr Rashmi Barbhaiya, CEO and MD of Advinus, said, "Veeda CR is a partner of choice with its technical expertise in handling complex early clinical development trials, compliance with regulatory standards and focus on ethics. This partnership represents an important milestone in our strategy to offer integrated R&D services to our partners."

Dr Apurva Shah, MD, Veeda CR, said, "Our association with Advinus provides access to their preclinical and pharmaceutical development capabilities and a world-class development team. Our combined capabilities will offer unique opportunities for developing INDs and for early clinical development to our clients in a seamless manner."


Bird flu: Government considering regulatory measures

The government may introduce regulatory measures to govern the health of poultry livestock to prevent the spread of infections such as avian influenza and launch an intensive awareness campaign among producers to adopt these measures, said Charusheela Sohoni, secretary, department of animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries, ministry of agriculture.

She was speaking at a national conference on "Challenges for the Indian Poultry Sector Post-Avian Influenza" organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The government, she said, will strongly consider the industry's perspective in shaping its action plan in keeping with OIE guidelines. These measures will ensure the quality of poultry products and production chain. "Each importing country has its own requirements that have become more stringent after the outbreak of avian influenza with regard to environmental, animal welfare, packaging and pesticide residues," she said.

R&D needs an appropriate thrust to give a boost to the industry, the secretary said. In the post-WTO era, there are new challenges and opportunities for scientists that require the expansion of research avenues. "These should address disease, quality control, feed utilization and processing."

"India is the fifth largest producer of poultry meat in the world," Vaidya said. The CII has set up a committee to facilitate the growth of the poultry sector. The poultry industry has been growing steadily producing 1800 million kg of meat and 42 billion eggs every year. It provides employment to three million people in the country. The broiler sector has clocked an average growth of 10 percent per annum while the egg sector has grown at 5 percent per annum. The poultry industry has a turnover of Rs 9,000 crore ($2 billion) and the egg industry, a turnover of Rs 6,200 crore ($1.4 billion).


Proteomics facility at Nicholas Piramal Research Centre Inaugurated

Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, inaugurated a state-of-the-art proteomics facility during his visit to the Nicholas Piramal Research Center in Mumbai recently. The proteomics facility would make use of new technologies in mass spectrometry such as SELDI TOF (Surface Enhanced Laser Desorption /Ionisation Time-of-Flight mass spectrometer) and MALDI TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption /Ionisation Time-of-Flight mass spectrometer), which helps identify serum patterns that can differentiate disease from the normal state. This new biomarker pattern approach leads to possible identification of new biomarkers further leading to identification of new drug targets. This is a biotech approach to discover new proteins used for making new drugs.


Glenmark manufactures first batch of crofelemer API

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has announced the successful production of crofelemer active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for use in a pivotal Phase III trial by Napo Pharmaceuticals in the US for chronic diarrhoea in persons living with HIV/AIDS. Glenmark is manufacturing this API at a dedicated unit at its US FDA approved facility in Ankleshwar.

"We see this as an important product for India and Glenmark's licensed territories," said Glenn Saldanha, managing director and CEO, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals. "Many diarrhoea diseases are resistant to antibiotics; crofelemer's mechanism of action treats the symptom of dehydration regardless of cause. Furthermore, a strong safety database including over 1200 patients to date will help us target successful registration and launch of crofelemer by 2008/2009."

Glenmark signed a development and commercialisation alliance with Napo Pharmaceuticals in July 2005. Under the terms of the agreement, Glenmark will be responsible for marketing crofelemer in over 140 countries, including India, for three indications, viz. AIDS diarrhoea, acute infectious diarrhoea and paediatric diarrhoea. In return Glenmark will provide low-cost and large-scale manufacturing in FDA approved manufacturing facilities and upon marketing, will pay royalties ranging from high single digits to early teens on net sales to Napo.

BioNews DSIR recognition for in

DSIR recognition for in-house R&D unit of Panacea Biotec

The department of scientific and industrial research (DSIR), ministry of science and technology, New Delhi, has accorded recognition to the in-house R&D centre for biopharmaceutical research of Panacea Biotec, New Delhi. This R&D facility for biopharmaceutical research was inaugurated on April 17, 2006.

This centre will utilize molecular biology and genomics tools and has around 30 hard core molecular biologists, immunologists, bio-chemists, microbiologists and cell biologists. The centre will develop novel preventive and therapeutic vaccines, therapeutic fully human monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic peptides. It also plans to undertake the development of a peptide-based technology for alopecia (hair loss) management and tetravalent recombinant/chimeric dengue vaccine in-licensed from National Institutes of Health, USA and initiate Phase I trials.

'This recognition will encourage Panacea Biotec to engage more in the research and development (including clinical trials), in area of chemicals, drugs, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology" says Rajesh Jain, joint managing director, Panacea Biotec.

In-house R&D units recognized by DSIR in the area of pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector are eligible for duty free import of specified goods/equipment for R&D, duty free import of pharmaceutical reference standards in addition to weighted deductions on revenue and capital expenditure under the Income Tax Act. This recognition provides eligibility to obtain the financial assistance from various government agencies.


NABL certifies Manipal AcuNova's central lab

Manipal AcuNova has received the National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accreditation to its central reference laboratory in Bangalore. The ISO 15189:2003 accreditation has been given by the department of science and technology (DST) for diagnostic testing. In one year, Manipal AcuNova has completed the certification process for two of its laboratories. Manipal AcuNova's central reference laboratory specializes in patient testing, advanced molecular diagnostics and clinical trial testing.

DA Prasanna, vice chairman and MD, Manipal AcuNova, said, "Manipal AcuNova is now catering to international trials as well as providing a lucrative advantage for international alliances. At the macro level, it is our endeavor to showcase 'India advantage' as not just cost oriented but also as a country driven by quality. This accreditation is key driver towards this agenda."


Afferenz partners with ClinInvent Research for clinical trial services

Afferenz, a strategic business unit of Megasoft Ltd, which addresses the data and information management needs of life sciences companies, announced a strategic partnership with ClinInvent Research to jointly address the market needs for clinical trial data management services and biostatistics.

"ClinInvent's knowledge and experience in clinical trials data management services together with our integrated clinical trials solution, Acceliant, eclinical suite will offer a complete solution from a single point to our customers especially in the US where we have a large footprint" said Kallol Biswas, vice president, Afferenz. "With the increasing growth of outsourced clinical trials from overseas into India, this partnership will eliminate the problems customers' face of coordinating with multiple entities, that too from a distance."

"ClinInvent's data management expertise is enhanced by addition of Acceliant. And, the strategic partnership with, Afferenz provides us with an opportunity to move fast into global EDC arena," said Dr Arun Bhatt, president, ClinInvent.


iOWH awarded $46 million grant to combat diarrhoeal disease

The Institute for OneWorld Health (iOWH) has announced that it has been awarded a grant of $46 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its unique research on new treatments to complement traditional approaches for fighting diarrhoea. The announcement was made at Forum 10, the Global Forum for Health Research's annual meeting in Cairo, Egypt. OneWorld Health is a non-profit pharmaceutical company headquartered in San Francisco, California.

OneWorld Health's research aims to develop new treatments for secretory diarrheal disease, particularly anti-secretory drugs that inhibit the loss of fluid in the intestine. These drugs are designed to be used as an adjunct to oral rehydration therapy (ORT) for the treatment of life-threatening enterotoxigenic E. Coli (ETEC) and cholera, which are responsible for nearly 40 percent of reported cases of diarrhoeal disease.

"Our novel approach to reducing dehydration with new medicines for diarrhoeal diseases could save many lives," said Dr Victoria Hale, founder and CEO of OneWorld Health. "This is an essential part of our goal of developing safe, effective and affordable drugs for neglected diseases in developing countries."

Dr Regina Rabinovich, director of infectious diseases for the Gates Foundation, said, "Childhood diarrhoea is one of the world's most serious global health problems. We're pleased to support OneWorld Health and its partners, and hope their work encourages others to take action."


India-ASEAN for regulatory framework on biotech products

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India will shortly design a regulatory framework in relation to biotechnology products. Kapil Sibal, minister for science and technology, announced this at a press conference organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) recently.

"If India and the ASEAN collaborate, then the benefits from two industries, biotechnology and agricultural and processing industry, will accrue to all of them," said Sibal. "In order to realize the shared goal of using knowledge for creation of wealth, it is imperative to undertake collaborative R&D and technology development in areas of common interest." He said this could be done through the creation of a common India-ASEAN science and technology development fund.

The minister stated that plans are afoot to establish an India-ASEAN institute for intellectual property for building human resource capacities and training to serve the ASEAN region. The partnership will further encourage linkages between academic institutions, research laboratories, professional bodies and the industry to create a knowledge grid, and to support mobility of members of the scientific community.

"We intend to popularize science through interactions with youths, including school children within the ASEAN region, and to promote mechanisms to ensure participation on a large scale," said Sibal.

The European Union is in the process of setting up 15 percent of the entire S&T fund in which all the European countries will also be involved, he said. Other areas of collaboration are space, ICT, construction, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture for food security. There would also be opportunities for business with companies in Malaysia.

India, with a population of 1.1 billion, China with another billion and ASEAN with half a billion, can provide a huge market access, said the Malaysian minister of science, technology and innovation.

"Initiative for knowledge is a precursor for development," said the Malaysian minister. The quality of education in India provides greater potential for the ASEAN region in the country.

He said Malaysia has a strong Indian community, around 10 percent, which will help in building up a strong synergy between the two countries. "India is like a big bus moving forward in ICT and biotechnology and it can hence provide a global platform for people in ASEAN."

"We are looking at alternative mechanisms that are cheaper, effective and useful to the ASEAN market in which India has pinnacle capacity," said Dato Jarjis.


BioNews IFC invests

IFC invests $6.5 million in Ocimum Biosolutions

Hyderabad-based Ocimum Biosolutions has received $6.5 million equity funding from International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the World Bank Group, for a minority stake, and debt in the company. This is Ocimum's first round of fund raising from private equity investors.

Anuradha Acharya, founder and CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions, said, "We are happy to have IFC as our partner for growth. These are exciting times for Ocimum and to have IFC as an investor in the company brings a lot of confidence in our clients and partners. Funds raised from this transaction will be used for financing both organic as well as inorganic growth of the company."

Iyad Malas, IFC's director for South Asia, said, "IFC's support to Ocimum will provide the company its much needed growth capital to establish an internationally competitive contract research outsourcing company and promote the discovery of new drugs at lower costs. We will also help institute improved corporate governance standards."

Avendus Advisors was the sole financial advisor to Ocimum for the deal. Ocimum recently acquired a Europe-based oligo manufacturer and is scouting for more targets in the European market. And so it is also contemplating for another round of fund raising in the next 18-24 months.


GITA to promote and facilitate technology partnership

The department of science and technology (DST) under the ministry of science and technology and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) signed a MoU on Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA). The MoU was signed by Dr T Ramasami, secretary, DST, and R Seshasayee, president, CII, in the presence of Kapil Sibal, minister for science and technology and earth sciences.

Welcoming the development, Kapil Sibal said, "There is a greater global exploitation of technology as exemplified by export flows of high tech products across nations and technological collaboration for generic technologies. Therefore, we can no longer afford to go ahead on our own and have to develop technology in partnership with entities, nationally or internationally. GITA is one such example of public-private partnership."

The broad objective of GITA project is to promote and facilitate technology partnership between overseas and Indian industry/institutes with the aim of enhancing technology competitiveness of Indian organizations. The partnerships can take place through various modes under the framework of national/international laws and through other modes.


Ranbaxy gets favorable decision for exclusive marketing of Simvastatin

Ranbaxy Laboratories has announced that the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has affirmed an earlier District Circuit holding on Simvastatin, preserving 180-day exclusivity when patents are delisted from the FDA Orange Book.

The release noted that earlier, Merck & Co., had delisted two patents on its branded drug, Zocor (simvastatin), which the FDA interpreted as eliminating Ranbaxy's 180-day exclusivity on the 80 mg strength of Simvastatin tablets. Ranbaxy challenged this decision on the basis that it was inconsistent with the Hatch-Waxman Act. The Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) filed an amicus brief supporting Ranbaxy's position. The District Court agreed and Ranbaxy launched 80 mg Simvastatin tablets with 180-day exclusivity in June 2006.

"We are pleased with this decision, for both Ranbaxy and the generic pharmaceutical industry, as it preserves the exclusivity of innovative generic pharmaceutical companies who expend significant effort and finances to introduce affordable generic medicines to the U.S. healthcare system," said Jay Deshmukh, senior vice president, global intellectual property, Ranbaxy.


Greenpeace report highlights alternatives to genetic engineering

New, environmentally sustainable and consumer-friendly technologies effectively render the imprecise Genetic Engineering (GE) technology both obsolete and unnecessary, according to a new report released by Greenpeace.

The Greenpeace report, "Future of Rice" brings together the varied ways in which farmers and scientists are improving rice production and increasing farmer income through the use of technologies such as marker assisted selection (MAS). By highlighting an environmentally sustainable future for the world's most important staple food, the report debunks the myth that GE companies such as Monsanto can secure the future of rice.

"This year we have seen the contamination of global supplies of rice, the world's most important staple food, by illegal GE rice varieties from the US and China," said Divya Raghunandan. "No further proof is needed that GE crops are dangerous and cannot be contained. The report establishes that there is in fact, no need to take the risk of GE. Solutions to the problems of rice production exist and are being used in labs and fields around the world," she informed.


BioSyntech signs pact with Nicholas Piramal

BioSyntech has announced the signing of a scientific collaboration agreement between the company and their biopharmaceutical partner, Nicholas Piramal. This collaboration will involve clinical studies for BST-InPod, which is being developed to alleviate the chronic pain associated with foot fat pads. This collaboration will help to generate more clinical data at a lower cost in India.

Chronic heel pain is widespread. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons reports that "Heel pain is a complaint voiced by 14 percent of the adult population and suspects that millions more silently cope with it". Injected directly into the fat pad, BST-InPod is expected to result in a long-term reduction in pain by improving the biomechanical function of the treated fat pad.


Wellspring sets up facility at Mangalore

Wellspring Laboratories, a division of Nicholas Piramal India Ltd (NPIL), has set up an advanced facility in Mangalore in Karnataka.

Spread over 3,000 sft of area, the Wellspring Centre provides for all pathology investigations under one roof. The lab is equipped to perform over four million pathology tests every year with a comprehensive range of tests covering biochemistry, immunology, hematology, histopathology, microbiology and a range of esoteric tests in the areas of immuno-histochemistry, cytogenetics, flow cytometry and molecular biology through their Centers of Excellence (CoEs).

Dr Swati Piramal, director, strategic alliances and communications, NPIL, said, "We aim to ensure people's well-being and strive to make a difference in the quality of their lives. We are well equipped and committed to deliver an all-encompassing range of pathology and diagnostic services."


Zydus Cadila files its 4th IND 'ZYO1' for treating obesity

Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila has filed another IND (Investigational New Drug) application for the New Molecular Entity (NME) – ZYO1, a novel drug candidate for treating obesity and related disorders with the DCGI.
ZYO1 is a novel experimental drug working through CB-1 mechanism, which will help obese patients lose weight, and also help in controlling blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes. The drug could also have a role in protecting the heart.

The recently concluded pre-clinical studies on ZYO1 have reported interesting and encouraging findings which indicate a novel molecule with superior preclinical profile and remarkably better safety profile. The only other drug that has gained approval in the CB-1 class is Rimonabant.

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