• 7 July 2007
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New Page 1

Shantha to develop rotavirus vaccine for childhood diarrhoea

Shantha Biotechnics, in collaboration with the global non-profit health organization PATH, is developing a multivalent vaccine against rotavirus with the technology licensed from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Shantha and PATH are working in partnership to accelerate development of the new vaccine.

"We are excited about working on the multivalent rotavirus vaccine, which has the potential to save many lives," said Varaprasad Reddy, managing director of Shantha Biotech.

There are two licensed vaccines for rotavirus, RotaTeq (Merck & Co.) and Rotatrix (GSK) but these are not currently available in India. PATH is working with Shantha Biotech and other emerging manufacturers to develop promising candidates into safe, effective and affordable vaccines.

"Because bringing new vaccines to market is a key component in improving affordability, PATH is pleased to be partnering with Shantha to develop the rotavirus vaccine to meet India and other countries' needs," commented Rajat Goyal, director of PATH's Advancing Rotavirus Vaccine Development project. Shantha was selected following a rigorous assessment of its technical and business merits, for its willingness and capacity to meet WHO vaccine standards.

Shantha plans to carry out the clinical trials following completion of preclinical toxicology studies and expects to start clinical trials in the year 2008.


Suracell selects BioServe as its exclusive DNA testing partner

BioServe, a leading provider of genetic testing services, has announced that it has been selected by Suracell as its exclusive DNA testing partner.

Suracell, a leader in the emerging field of personal genetic health, has developed a proprietary and fully integrated information technology platform to identify genetic markers related to a number of biological processes that have been shown to be associated with healthy aging.

Through this agreement, BioServe will receive samples collected from patients seeking to take advantage of Suracell's unique programs. BioServe extracts DNA from a buccal swab collected from the de-identified patient. Next, the DNA quality is verified before undergoing analysis using a panel of proprietary single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) selected by Suracell. BioServe then transmits the analyzed data back to Suracell using Suracell's proprietary information technology platform. Suracell subsequently delivers the results to the requesting physicians and health care practitioners. BioServe is one of the few DNA testing laboratories that have been awarded the CLIA certification, the highest standard in lab certification.

In addition, BioServe is the first company providing DNA testing services to utilize Suracell's proprietary "genetic testing web portal." This portal provides a single point of access for physicians and health care centers, allowing them to use the internet to order genetic testing services for patients from participating laboratory service providers.


Aptuit to invest more than $100 million in Laurus Labs

Global contract drug development firm Aptuit, and Hyderabad-based Laurus Labs have announced the formation of a contract drug development company, Aptuit Laurus in India. The company will combine Aptuit's global offerings in drug development with Laurus' R&D and manufacturing expertise and newly built state-of-the-art facilities to provide established and emerging pharmaceutical companies with integrated services, technologies and manufacturing capabilities that span the entire drug development lifecycle. Aptuit plans to invest over $100 million over the next four years to build upon Aptuit Laurus' development, manufacturing and informatics capabilities.

"Laurus Labs shares our strategic vision to build an end-to-end drug development services partner with high service levels and an emphasis on technology, and their offerings align neatly with ours," said Michael A Griffith, founder and CEO of Aptuit.

"Aptuit is the ideal strategic partner for Laurus," said Dr Satyanarayana Chava, founder and CEO of Laurus Labs. "Our strengths are complementary, and we are very focused on the value and efficiencies to be gained for our customers in having access to a full range of research, development and manufacturing capabilities and services on a truly global scale. We see this as a very powerful combination, one that benefits our customers quite uniquely."

The new entity will use the trade name Aptuit Laurus, and will be based in Hyderabad with additional facilities in Vishakhapatnam and Bangalore. Aptuit Laurus will comprise Laurus' newly-established 160,000 sft R&D facility in Hyderabad, which already employs over 200 scientific personnel; Laurus' large-scale manufacturing plant, which is currently under construction on over 34 acres of land in Pharma City, Vishakhapatnam; and Aptuit's existing Informatics Development and Support group of 100 employees in Bangalore.

Aptuit Laurus will be led by Dr Satyanarayana and his existing management team, which will expand as new services are added, and will be governed by a newly established Board of Directors.


Micro Labs launches ophthalmology division

Bangalore-based Micro Labs has announced the launch of its new ophthalmology division, Micro Lumira. With this, the company increased the number of divisions in its portfolio from 12 to 13. This is a strategic move by the organization keeping in mind the potential size of eye care market. The division will be headed by S Rajagopalan, president.

Micro Lumira has been launched with an objective to offer wide range of ophthalmic medications across all therapeutic segments at an affordable cost. These drugs will be manufactured at Micro Labs' state-of-the-art eye drop facility at Bommasandra, which is Asia's largest set up with an investment of Rs 70 crore. This facility has been designed in line with the world's quality accreditation requirements of different regulatory bodies like US FDA and UK MHRA. The capacity of the facility is to produce two lakh bottles of ophthalmic preparations per day.

Speaking on the occasion, Dilip Surana, managing director, Micro Labs, said, "Eye care market has vast, untapped potential. We bring a unique proposition to our stakeholders by providing world class medicines manufactured at our facility at Bommasandra at affordable prices. Micro Lumira will bring us closer to achieving our mission of becoming the No. 1 player in eye care market."

S Rajagaopalan, president, added, "We have a highly trained and motivated sales force that will introduce newer eye care formulations to various ophthalmologists across the country. Through this vast network of 'Feet on Street', we intend to achieve threefold increase in our sales in the next three years."

The facility has latest technology with best equipment from countries like Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Japan.


TCG Lifesciences inks pact with Forest

TCG Lifesciences has announced a strategic collaboration with Forest Laboratories Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forest Laboratories, to discover small molecule drug candidates for inflammatory diseases. Working closely with Forest scientists, Chembiotek, the chemistry and biology arm of TCG Lifesciences, will carry out discovery research to identify and optimize lead molecules.

The program will focus on an integrated approach involving chemistry, biology, ADME and animal pharmacology capabilities of Chembiotek. Forest will have full ownership of the compounds developed under the collaboration with unencumbered worldwide rights, and will fund all subsequent drug development and commercialization activities. Forest will pay Chembiotek undisclosed discovery milestones.

Commenting on the collaboration with Chembiotek, Dr Ivan Gergel, senior vice president of scientific affairs, Forest Laboratories and president of the Forest Research Institute said, "We are pleased to commence this discovery research collaboration with Chembiotek. This collaboration is part of our continued commitment to fill our early stage pipeline through discovery partnerships. We believe that Chembiotek has the commitment throughout its organization and the quality of personnel necessary for the success of this program."

Swapan Bhattacharya, managing director, TCG Lifesciences, said, "This partnership with Forest is a culmination of the skills, capabilities and scale of operations we have developed over the past few years at TCG Lifesciences and more specifically at Chembiotek. In addition to our strong chemistry capabilities, we have developed the best biology and computational skills among CROs in India. Our talented and dedicated team of scientists has made this possible. This transaction represents the fourth integrated discovery project we have signed this year."


Johnson & Johnson selects ArisGlobal as its pharmacovigilance partner

ArisGlobal, a provider of pharmacovigilance and safety systems to the life sciences industry, has announced its strategic partnership with Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson will deploy the ArisGlobal Total Safety suite of products on a global basis to replace its in-house systems.

Johnson & Johnson's goal was to select a partner who could supply a single, harmonized platform to provide global, state-of-the-art safety case management, signal detection and surveillance capabilities. In addition, Johnson & Johnson needed a partner with a shared vision and strategy to evolve and develop systems to meet the current and future demands of a global organization such as Johnson & Johnson.

"We chose ArisGlobal because they understand our business environment and demonstrated excellent commitment during our business and technology requirements sessions. The services and functionality provided with ARISg combined with our development partnership with ArisGlobal to enhance ARISg will support our requirements," said William Truhe, vice president of informatics, benefit risk management at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development. "With ArisGlobal's ARISg robust feature set, flexible data model ,intuitive user interface and ability to integrate with our key systems, Johnson & Johnson will incorporate this solution into our existing enterprise-wide processes, knowing that they have the ability to perform enhancements at an efficient pace.".

"The fact that Johnson & Johnson has entrusted ArisGlobal to support their most critical business needs is extremely satisfying. It is widely known that Johnson & Johnson has been at the forefront of drug safety initiatives and our partnership with them will allow us to develop a solid pharmacovigilance and risk management platform to satisfy the demands of government, the regulators and the consumer," said Simon Sparkes, vice president, global sales and marketing at ArisGlobal.


Bilcare-ACRP to uplift clinical research infrastructure in India

Bilcare Research has launched the India Chapter of Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) along with inauguration of its first academic center at Pune, India. This is ACRP's first chapter in India and will be a gateway for quality clinical research training in the Asian region.

In association with ACRP, Bilcare Research Academy plans to impart training to hospitals, clinical research organizations and other intermediaries in the clinical research business to enhance the understanding and thereby upgrade the standard in the region.

To accomplish this goal, Bilcare has already tied-up with Bangalore Diabetic Hospital and nine other hospitals across the country where customized programs will commence shortly.

BioNews New Page 2

Wockhardt gets nod to enter Lamisil market

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology major Wockhardt received USFDA tentative approval to market Terbinafine tablets (Lamisil) in the US. Terbinafine is used to treat fungal infections such as onychomycosis (condition that affects the toenails or the fingernails). With the US product patent for this drug expiring on June 29, 2007, Wockhardt will launch Terbinafine, the generic version of brand Lamisil sold by Novartis, in early July.

"Our Wockhardt USA team is ready to embark on the 'Day-one' launch of Terbinafine," said Wockhardt chairman, Habil Khorakiwala. "The US market for Terbinafine tablets is about $680 million. Tapping this market, in addition to our speedily increasing product portfolio is a manifestation of our rapidly expanding capabilities in the US."

The Terbinafine tablets are manufactured at Wockhardt's US FDA certified formulation plant at Waluj, Maharashtra. Market shares of all Wockhardt USA products are exhibiting a good growth. Wockhardt currently markets 20 products in the US.

"We now also have on the management board of Wockhardt USA, president, Kurt Orlofski, who will spearhead the US generics business. We are confident that Wockhardt's generic business will scale greater heights and establish an important position in the generic industry," said Khorakiwala.


Q4 performance boosts Zenotech's profit

For the 4th quarter ended March 31, 2007, Zenotech Laboratories' total income from sales and operations and license fees aggregated to Rs 1,178.67 lakh (Rs 326.36 lakh) and net profit for the quarter stood at Rs 481.76 lakh (loss of Rs.11.26 lakh).

For the year ended March 31, 2007, total Income from sales and operations and license fees aggregated to Rs 2,264.64 lakh (Rs 1,319.62 lakh) and Profit After Tax (PAT) for the year stood at Rs 362.47 lakh (loss of Rs 73.80 lakh). The company's results were boosted by license fees of Rs 900 lakh earned during the fourth quarter of the year.


GEAC approves multi locational research trials of Bt cotton

The 78th meeting of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) approved Multi Location Research Trials (MLRT) of several Bt cotton, although the food crops rice, okra, corn, brinjal and potato could not get approval.

Permission to conduct MLRT of Bt cotton expressing approved gene/events have been approved. This includes BG I cotton hybrids, BG II cotton hybrid, cry1Ac gene, 3 intra – hirsutum hybrids, 2 inter-specific hybrids, 3 inter-specific hybrids, 5 Bt cotton hybrids, Bollgard cotton hybrids has been given. The MLRT will be taken in central and south zones at various locations.

The committee also approved the proposal for strip trials of Bt cotton expressing approved gene/events. This will cover 35 Bt cotton hybrids, 115 transgenic Bt cotton hybrids, 29 intra-specific Bt cotton hybrids and others will be included. Experimental seed production of Bt cotton expressing approved gene/events has also been given approval.

MLRT of GM food crops were not given approval. Companies require to submit validated protocol for detection of 0.01 per cent level contamination. Subject to this submission they will get approval later on. This include six transgenic Bt rice hybrids, 3 transgenic Bt Okra hybrids, YieldGuard corn parental lines, Roundup Ready Corn hybrid, Bt brinjal, 8 cotton hybrids, flex cotton hybrids etc.

The Large Scale Field Trials (LSFT) of Bt cotton expressing new gene/events did not get approval today because they did not complete full bio-safety studies. This include cotton hybrids expressing Cry1C gene and seed production of cotton hybrids. The committee has approved the import of Soybean oil obtained from round-up ready soybean by Solvent Extractors' Association of India.


Indoco sets up Rs 22.5-crore R&D facility

Indoco Remedies has set up a new R&D center at Navi Mumbai at a cost of
Rs 22.5 crore, in order to fully integrate into CRAMS space. The research activities at the facility include synthesis of APIs, process improvement and development of non-infringing processes for APIs and intermediates, formulations development, analytical studies and regulatory affairs.

Aditi Kare Panandikar, director, business development, Indoco, said, "Indoco aims to transform itself into a completely integrated player in CRAMS space."

India has emerged as a secure territory for research and manufacturing of patented products and the company would leverage this opportunity. The facility would be aimed to work for firms from European countries and the US market.

"The unique feature of the R&D center is the Kilolab, which is versatile to perform a wide variety of reactions and complete multistage intermediate and API processes for preclinical phase to Phase III clinical studies, and will in turn amplify Indoco's contract development and manufacturing services to the rest of the world," explained Aditi.

Indoco views its R&D capabilities as a vital component of its business strategy that will provide the company long-term competitive advantage. The company intends to take up NDDS research and expects to commercialize the first NDDS product in calendar 2008, It is in the process of setting up a separate R&D team for the same.

With the commissioning of its new R&D center in April 2006, Indoco now has in place a total of five facilities for formulation, Goa Plant I {oral solids, creams and liquid dosage plant: Approved by MHRA-UK and Darmstadt Germany} Goa Plant II {sterile facility for ophthalmic and injectables: Approved by USFDA} Baddi {WHO: GMP}, Aurangabad and Tarapur facilities for non regulated market. For APIs, scale up facility- Kilolab is backed by two commercial manufacturing facilities at Patalganga as per USFDA standards and at Rabale as per WHO: GMP standards.


Intas Biopharma receives EU-GMP certification

Intas Biopharmaceuticals Ltd (IBPL) has achieved the unique distinction of becoming India's first dedicated biopharmaceutical company to receive certification of European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) or an EU-GMP certification for its manufacturing facility at Ahmedabad. The certification is a significant step towards fulfilment of IBPL's plans to tap Europe market. Moreover the certification give strong advantage to IBPL as the company can strengthen existing alliances and look forward to possible agreements with other pharma/biotech companies in new geographical regions of Europe .

Addressing mediapersons, Mani Iyer, director, IBPL, said, "On the R&D front, the certification will allow IBPL to get an entry into regulated markets of Europe to conduct clinical trials for many of our products which are in the pipeline. The process of clinical trials is mandatory and a pre-requisite for the company to develop the products and market them in Europe. Additionally, this certification has opened new avenues for the company to explore existing/new technologies and processes.

For IBPL, EU-GMP certification will also simplify the procedure for product registration in different countries of the world by significantly reducing the time required by the company to get the product registration. Also, many companies across the globe would be keen to associate with us for our products and services."

The company has successfully launched therapeutic recombinant proteins Neukine (rHu G-CSF), Erykine & Epofit (rHu EPO) and Intalfa (rHu IFN Alfa-2b) in the domestic markets and couple of international markets. It is the only company in Gujarat with an impressive track record of launching three indigenously developed biotech products in as many years.


Strides Arcolab completes acquisition of Grandix Pharmaceuticals

Strides Arcolab has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100 percent of Grandix Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiary Grandix Laboratories on a cash and debt free basis valuing 100 percent of the company at Rs 100 crore.

The transaction is accretive to Strides EPS and offers a platform to grow a domestic strategy by infusing a robust Strides pipeline. Pricewaterhouse Coopers acted as an independent valuer of the transaction. For the FY 2006, Grandix posted sales of Rs 48.50 crores ($11.80 million) and EBITDA of Rs 10.89 crore ($2.60 million)- 22 percent. Sales in 2007 is expected to grow at over 30 percent.

Strides Arcolab has no domestic presence and Grandix will be the springboard to launch a national presence by leveraging existing Grandix products with the company's strong R&D pipeline.


New antibiotic launched to battle drug-resistant infections

Wyeth Ltd, the subsidiary of the $20-billion global pharmaceutical and healthcare company Wyeth, recently announced the launch in India of Tygacil (tigecycline), its novel intravenous (IV) antibiotic with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against drug-resistant bacteria.

Tygacil is the first antibiotic in a new class called glycylcyclines. It is indicated for use in complicated infections of the skin and soft tissue and complicated intra-abdominal infections. Tygacil has in-vitro activity against many gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including multi-drug resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE).

The new drug provides doctors with a treatment alternative for complicated skin and intra-abdominal infections. Tygacil will be immediately available to hospitals and surgical professionals across the country for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI) and complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) in adults.

Speaking at the launch in New Delhi, Prof. John T Sinnott, director of the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine, Florida, USA said, "Drug-resistant organisms are a growing problem worldwide. Inadequate infection control and shortfall in hygiene and public health are driving resistance in developing countries. The unique structure of tigecycline not only provides expanded broad spectrum of in-vitro activity, it avoids the tetracycline-resistance mechanism."

"It is the most appropriate time to introduce a new class of antibacterial agent in India," said Dr Chand Wattal, senior consultant and chairman, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi. "The availability of Tygacil is a boon at a time when life-threatening hospital acquired infections are present universally."

BioNews New Page 3

Avesthagen inks MoU with Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation for biosimilars

Avesta Biotherapeutic and Research Pvt Ltd (ABRPL), a joint venture between Avesthagen and Meditab Specialities (Cipla group), has signed an MoU with Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation.

ABRPL, in order to achieve early market access, has identified Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, which will enable ABRPL to enhance the infrastructure needs with an objective to accelerate its eleven biosimilar product development program.

Malaysian Biotech Corporation is an agency under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and owned wholly by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated. It identifies value propositions in the biotechnology sector in both R&D and commerce and supports these ventures via financial assistance, and developmental and facilitation services and are desirous of facilitating ABRPL's investment in Malaysia.

Dr Villoo Morawala Patell, founder and managing director of Avesthagen said, "Malaysia's commitment to the advancement of science and technology is well known and therefore I am sure that Avesthagen's relationship with Malaysian Biotech Corporation will see a global need for biosimilars. Let us work towards the success of this unique south-south cooperation."

ABRPL, through this MOU, would like to establish a Malaysian legal presence and would place the intellectual property rights for the product with ABRPL Malaysia. This would also give ABRPL Malaysia an opportunity to obtain the BioNexus status offered by the Government of Malaysia as well as apply for any relevant incentives as soon as practicable. Malaysian Biotech Corp has also agreed to facilitate the BioNexus status application, however it would depend on eligibility.


Medical practitioners, experts suggest diagnosis key to management of diabetes

Bio-Rad Laboratories recently organized a seminar on diagnosis and management of diabetes. The seminar focused on the need to manage the disorder and the role of health insurance companies in managing it.

Bio-Rad in association with various agencies has been advocating for the cause of diabetes management across all major cities in India. Speaking at the event in Mumbai, renowned consultant physician and endocrinologist, Dr SM Sadikot, said, "Diabetes is the most common and amongst the most dangerous lifestyle related diseases in the country". He said, "India being the diabetes capital of the world, needs renewed commitment from all quarters in its fight against diabetes". He further added "HbA1c has been recognized as the most effective way for diagnosis and management of diabetes the worldover. It's time that we move on with the traditional tests which are often misleading and might not give a correct picture".

The recent times have seen a major thrust on diabetes management by the health agencies in India, especially due to the fact that India has been declared as the diabetes capital of the world. Diagnosis of diabetes is an important facet in the management of the disorder, as early detection alerts an individual and helps him tackle diabetes better.

Apart from renowned medical practitioners and researchers from both India and abroad, representatives from the country's leading diagnostic laboratories were present at the seminar. Dhiren Wagle, country manager, Bio-Rad Laboratories, said, "Bio-Rad in association with like-minded associations is committed in its endeavour of spreading awareness on diabetes management through HbA1c testing, which is one of the key parameters to manage and control your glycemic level in the blood."


BioServe selected by SCCOR for study on thoracic aortic disease

BioServe has announced that it has been selected by Houston-based Specialized Clinical Center of Research (SCCOR) for a novel study aimed at identifying the genetic cause of thoracic aortic disease. The SCCOR is a collaborative program by University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas Medical Branch. Under terms of the agreement, BioServe will provide the SCCOR researchers with access to certain unique sample sets from its Global Repository of over 600,000 human DNA, tissue and serum samples linked to detailed clinical and demographic data to assist in identifying genes that are predictive of the development and progression of thoracic aortic diseases. Thoracic aortic disease is the 15th leading cause of death in the US, with aortic dissections being the 13th leading cause of death in people between the ages of 55 and 64.

"Through this landmark study we hope to define DNA sequence variants in a few target genes and their interacting environmental risk factors that are responsible for a significant proportion of the thoracic aortic diseases. By identifying the underlying and specific genetic causes of thoracic aortic disease we will provide doctors with the ability to predict which patients are at higher risk of aortic rupture, and treat them earlier," said Xin Li Wang, a professor and director in the cardiothoracic research laboratory in the division of cardiothoracic surgery of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Kevin Krenitsky, CEO of BioServe, said, "We are excited to partner with the Houston SCCOR on this significant genetic study of thoracic aortic disease. Our work with the Houston SCCOR will contribute to the genetic understanding of a debilitating disease, and provide the foundation for improved risk assessment and early intervention, taking us a step closer to a personalized medicine regimen."


New product approvals for Zydus Cadila from USFDA

Zydus Cadila has received three product approvals from the USFDA in quick succession. The group has received approvals to market Benzonatate tablets 100 and 200 mg, Naproxen tablets and tentative approval for Amlodipine Besylate tablets 2.5, 5 and 10 mg.

The branded sales in the US market of Benzonatate tablets, which falls in the cough-suppresant segment, was estimated at $134 million in 2006 as per NDC. The branded sales of Amlodipine Besylate tablets, an anti-hypertensive, was estimated at $2.74 billion in 2006 and that of Naproxen Tablets, which falls in the analgesic segment, was estimated at $0.67 billion in 2006 as per NDC Health.

The group will market all three drugs through its US subsidiary Zydus Pharmaceuticals. The group now has 27 approvals since the commencement of filing process in FY 2003-04. So far, the group has filed 60 ANDAs and 51 DMFs.


Lilly tuberculosis partnership honored by global business coalition

Eli Lilly and Company is being recognized for conceiving and implementing a global partnership to address the multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) pandemic.

Lilly's pioneering MDR-TB partnership began in 2003, when the company dedicated $70 million in funding to support a multi-pronged strategy to increase the supply and availability of effective drugs for treating the complex and life-threatening disease; training for front-line health care personnel; and efforts to focus global resources on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of MDR-TB.

In March 2007, the company recommitted an additional $50 million to the Lilly MDR-TB partnership, which today consists of an international alliance of 14 public and private organizations, including businesses, humanitarian organizations, academic institutions, and professional health care associations.

"Lilly is honored to be among the esteemed organizations recognized by the global business coalition," said Sidney Taurel, Lilly's chairman and chief executive officer. "We are pleased to share this recognition with the international alliance of organizations that have joined our battle to stop the spread of MDR-TB. Through our collective efforts, we are committed to providing the global resources necessary to improve the prevention and treatment of patients afflicted by this deadly disease."

"Eli Lilly and Company has set a new standard in the corporate fight against tuberculosis, and its Lilly MDR-TB partnership in particular will serve as a superlative model for other businesses around the world to follow," said GBC President Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. "The business community plays a vital role in fighting global epidemics, and Eli Lilly and Company has demonstrated that the private sector can truly make a positive difference in this effort."


HealthCare Global Enterprises, GE Healthcare launch molecular imaging center

HealthCare Global Enterprises and GE Healthcare announced a strategic oncology partnership to address the growing oncology needs in India. HealthCare Global Enterprises has set up an advanced GMP and FDA compliant Molecular Imaging Center (MIC) in Bangalore. The facility is the first of its kind in India and has commenced operations. GE Healthcare's advanced medical technologies have been chosen to provide diagnostic services in the areas of oncology, cardiology and neurology. The center is equipped with state-of-the-art molecular imaging systems including a GE Discovery STe, GE PETTrace medical cyclotron and Tacerlab MX automated Chemistry Lab and Infinia dual head nuclear gamma camera system.

The reason GE was selected for the project was due to the technological expertise and the company's extensive portfolio. "With a comprehensive facility such as the HCG, a diverse range of solutions are required. GE demonstrated an attractive proposition because as a key healthcare infrastructure provider, they presented a holistic approach to cater for multiple aspects of HCGs projects seamlessly," said Dr Ajai Kumar, chairman, HealthCare Global Enterprises.

"Molecular imaging has huge potential to enable detection of diseases at a much earlier stage and change the way we manage the patient today. Molecular imaging techniques in combination with specific biomarkers are helping physicians to choose suitable medications for a particular patient, predict and monitor the effects of those medications and personalize patients' treatments - hence contributing to a more efficient and higher quality treatment of common maladies like cancer, cardiovascular diseases or neurological disorders," said V Raja, president and CEO, GE Healthcare. "Our vision is to identify and treat the molecular causes of diseases long before the patient ever experiences any symptoms and GE is at the forefront of developing these early health solutions that will transform the future of healthcare."

"We are excited to begin this cooperation with GE Healthcare, the leading supplier of healthcare solutions. Together, we will provide the healthcare sector in the region with sophisticated and unparalleled molecular imaging and diagnostic services, leveraging on the world-class facilities offered by our centre," said Dr Ajai Kumar.

GE Healthcare's has been associated with HCG for over a decade. HCG is looking forward to setting up similar centers across the country through this strategic partnership with GE Healthcare.


InterfaceFLOR to expand India operations

InterfaceFLOR, a worldwide leader in the manufacture of modular commercial flooring announced the setting up of a 100 percent subsidiary, InterfaceFLOR India with headquarters in Bangalore. The company has also set up sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.

InterfaceFLOR is the modular flooring division of Interface based in Atlanta, USA. It has won numerous design and innovation awards for its market-leading modular floor covering products. InterfaceFLOR makes and sells the industry's largest and most diverse range of carpet tiles.

Announcing the India expansion, Lindsey Parnell, president and CEO, InterfaceFLOR in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, said "We have been selling carpet tiles for commercial use in India since 2001 primarily to the office segment. In the last 7 years, we have sold more than 1.4 million sqmt of carpet tiles in India and have built a base of over 200 customers."

"In response to customer demands we have set up a full service operation in India offering a full range of products and services to customers and business partners. We expect a 30 percent year-on-year growth and hope to achieve the one million-sqm mark in sales in 2009," added Lindsey Parnell.

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