• 12 April 2011
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INB gets recognition for DNA forensics

Indian Biosciences (INB) has successfully completed the DNA identification of charred remains of victims of a cargo transport airplane that crashed in the mountains to the east of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, in 2010.

The DNA identification profiles for all the samples were prepared and matched as per FBI Laboratory’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) international standards.

Dr KS Mehta, director, Indian Biosciences, said, “The DNA identification and matching was carried out successfully and the families of the victims have received their rightful remains.”

Max Neeman assigns experts for trials
Max Neeman International, a clinical research services company in India, has established a team of experts specialized in carrying out rare disease trials in response to sponsor demand.

Max Neeman has been focusing on rare disease trials, in addition to other indications. Patient enrollment for rare disease, complex global and multi-centric trials is challenging because potential subjects are fewer in number and widely dispersed. India has evolved into a preferred destination for conducting such trials because of low-cost and faster patient recruitment supported by the country’s diverse gene pool and vast population.

Intas Pharma files for IPO
Intas Pharmaceuticals has filed its draft red herring prospectus with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for an initial public offering of its equity shares of face value $ 0.22 (10) each comprising a fresh issue of Equity Shares aggregating up to $95.5 million (425 crores) and an Offer for Sale of 5,810,550 Equity Shares by Mozart Limited. The Issue, will be made through a 100 percent book building process wherein not more than 50 percent of the issue shall be allocated on a proportionate basis to qualified institutional buyers, not less than 15 percent of the Issue shall be allocated to non-institutional bidders and not less than 35 percent of the issue shall be available to retail individual bidders.

Ecron acquires stake in aCROnordic
Ecron Acunova (EA), a full-service CRO, announced the acquisition of majority stake of aCROnordic, a CRO specialized in clinical research in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, with its headquarters in Denmark. Mr Soren Stroh, founder of aCROnordic, continues his role as CEO for Nordic region.

Mr DA Prasanna, founder and chairman of Ecron Acunova, said, “A recent change in the strategy of sponsors in the healthcare industry asks for more global presence of preferred provider CROs. The merger of EA and aCROnordic will yield substantial synergy to both of us for serving our clients’ needs.”

THR-100 enters phase III trials
Bharat Biotech, a multidimensional biotechnology company in India, has initiated a phase III clinical trial in India with Clot-Busting Drug THR-100 (Staphylokinase), a thrombolytic agent for the treatment of myocardial infarction.

The company is going in for trial in India with THR-100 in patients suffering an acute myocardial infarction (AMI or heart attack). The trial is expected to recruit approximately 120 patients.

Earlier, Bharat Biotech had entered into a license agreement with ThromboGenics for the manufacture, clinical development and commercialization of THR-100 with the objective of potentially commercializing it as a replacement for established thrombolytics, such as streptokinase and urokinase, in developing markets in December 2006. The novel variant of recombinant staphylokinase, THR-100 is developed for the treatment of AMI and other vascular diseases, based on its ability to dissolve blood clots.

According to the company sources, the phase III trial with THR-100 is anticipated to be completed in the second half of 2011.

The results of this phase III trial will later pave the way for this thrombolytic to be filed for
marketing approval by Bharat Biotech with Indian regulatory authorities.

Panacea Biotec signs new deal
Panacea Biotec has signed a non-exclusive marketing agreement with Laboratorios Clausen of  Uruguay. The agreement will give an access to Laboratorios Clausen to market Panacea Biotec’s Tacrolimus (Pangraf) in few markets in Europe.

The agreement was signed in presence of His Excellency Mr Danilo Astori, vice president of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, who was in India on an official visit to sign economic pact. In a separate agreement of technology exchange, Panacea Biotec agreed to explore the possibility of technology transfer of its product to Laboratorios Clausen manufacturing facility and for subsequent marketing in Latin American markets.

Aurobindo gets FDA approval
Aurobindo Pharma announced that the company has received final approval from the US FDA to manufacture and market Fosinopril Sodium tablets USP 10mg, 20mg and 40mg.
The product falls under the cardiovascular (CVS) therapeutic category. The product has a market size of approximately $20 million for the 12 months ending September 2010 according to IMS and will be launched shortly.

Aurobindo now has a total of 134 ANDA approvals (102 Final approvals and 32 Tentative approvals) from USFDA

Fortis signs pact with TotipotentRX
Fortis Healthcare (India), a fast growing hospital network and TotipotentRX Cell Therapy, a US-based provider of cutting-edge technologies in the stem cell and regenerative medicine market, announced a collaboration to set up centers of excellence offering cellular therapies and stem cell clinical trials, across select Fortis hospitals. These centers will undertake stem cell clinical research procedures relating to diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurological ischemia. TotipotentRX will also set up state-of-the-art cGMP laboratories in select hospitals, for processing stem cells before transplantation to patients.

Full genetic report for 20,000
Pune-based Acton Biotech recently launched its full genome scan which will primarily look at giving a detailed genetic report of a person. This full genome scan costs $447 (20,000) and it takes one month to prepare the report. This will contain information about a person’s genes, the diseases he might have in his life span and a list of drugs that will be in-efficacious or may cause severe side-effects. In addition to this, regular updates will be sent to the person as and when research laboratories find something new in his genes. The procedure involves collection of a person’s blood sample at collection center across cities which is subsequently sent to Acton’s facility in Pune, where extraction and quality control checks of the sample will be done.

Agilent sets up its largest R&D lab in Bangalore
Agilent Technologies has expanded its life sciences and chemical analysis center of excellence in Bangalore. The company also opened a life sciences application development lab to accelerate the discovery of life sciences analysis workflows. Together, the center and lab cover 8,000 sq.ft., making this the largest Agilent research facility in the world.

Agilent application scientists engaged in pharma, biopharma and other life science applications, staff the facility and work hand-in-hand with customers, thereby having access to critical samples and learning about emerging application needs. The Bangalore Center of Excellence is modeled on the same standards as other Agilent centers, with an emphasis on Agilent's global environmental, health and safety guidelines.

ILS joins hands with Affymetrix for microarray solutions
Imperial Life Sciences (ILS), has tied up with Affymetrix, a US-based microarray technology provider. From small personalized microarray platform (GeneAtlas) and versatile microarray instrumentation (GeneChip 3000 7G) to fully-automated microarray instrument (GeneTitan), Affymetrix has products for automated solutions to scientists. With this agreement, ILS is looking forward to take the wide range of microarray platforms and arrays for multiple applications like gene expression studies, SNP genotyping, resequencing analysis, CHIP-on-chip studies to its clients.

Affymetrix has more than 425 patents and 1,800 systems installed worldwide. ILS hopes that the collaboration will help the company provide world-class service and support to its customers.

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