Indian firm developing vaccine for Zika virus

Feb 3, 2016 0

The mosquito-transmitted infection is related to Dengue, Yellow Fever and West Nile virus.

HYDERABAD– Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech is developing world’s first vaccine for Zika virus, which has been declared as public health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

The vaccines and bio-therapeutic manufacturer on Wednesday announced that it is working on ZIKAVAC vaccines for Zika infection.

The company, which claims to be working on the vaccine for one-and-half years, has informed both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government of India about the status of its project.

Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director, Bharat Biotech, told reporters that the pre-clinical trials for the vaccine will start in a week or two.

The company has filed global patents for both inactivated and recombinant vaccines.

He said the company was ready to partner with Latin American countries like Brazil for the vaccine development. Some Latin American companies have already shown interest in partnering with it for human trials.

“It depends on the regulatory system in the country,” he said when asked how long it would take for the vaccine to hit the market in India. Ella said that if the government declares Zika as a national emergency and takes an aggressive stand, the vaccine can be developed in less than two years.

Sumathy, director, research and development, Bharat Biotech, who is heading the vaccine development, said they started the work on this along with the development of vaccine for Chikungunya but the work was progressing at a slow pace.

She said with the virus spreading fast to Latin America and the WHO declaring it public health emergency, they will now speed up the project.

The inactivated vaccine has reached the stage of pre-clinical testing in animals. The pre-clinical trials may take two to five months while human trials will take another four to five months.

Ella pointed out that Zika is now present in 23 countries. Brazil, the hardest-hit country, has reported around 3,530 cases of the devastating birth defect called microcephaly in 2015 that are strongly suspected to be related to Zika.

The Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, which can breed in a pool of water as small as a bottle cap and usually bite during the day. The mosquito-transmitted infection is related to Dengue, Yellow Fever and West Nile virus.

Bharat Biotech has invested over $150 million since inception to build its portfolio of vaccines including ROTAVAC, the first vaccine from the developing world

It has successfully commercialised Typbar TCV, typhoid conjugate vaccine. Chikungunya Vaccine will be entering phase 1 trials shortly.

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Abbott to buy Sri Lankan-Born Namal Nawana’s Alere for $5.8 billion

Feb 1, 2016 0

WALTHAM, MA— Abbott and Alere Inc. announced today a definitive agreement for Abbott to acquire Alere, for $5.8 billion. Sri Lankan-born Namal Nawana serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Alere.

Namal Nawana

Namal Nawana

Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott will pay $56 per common share at a total expected equity value of $5.8 billion. Once the transaction is completed, Abbott will become the leading diagnostics provider of point of care testing. Abbott’s total diagnostics sales will exceed $7 billion after the close.

Nawana was born in Sri Lanka and raised in Australia. He holds an Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Medical Science degree from the University of Adelaide in Australia and an MBA from the Henley Business School in the United Kingdom.

Nawana serves as CEO, president and a member of the Board of Directors of Alere. Since his appointment in 2014, Nawana has re-oriented the company to focus on its strengths, as the global leader in rapid diagnostics behind the new vision of Knowing now matters

Before joining Alere, Nawana held various global leadership roles during his 15-year tenure at Johnson & Johnson. He most recently served as Worldwide President of DePuy Synthes Spine, a Johnson & Johnson company. Prior to that role, Nawana held general management positions spanning the globe, including Area Vice President for Johnson & Johnson Medical in Australia and New Zealand and Chairman of the DePuy Asia Pacific Franchise Council.

“The combination of Alere and Abbott will create the world’s premier point of care testing business and significantly strengthen and grow Abbott’s diagnostics presence,” said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, Abbott. “We want to offer our customers the best and broadest diagnostics solutions. Alere helps us do that.”

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined business will offer the broadest point of care menu of infectious disease, molecular, cardiometabolic and toxicology testing, expanding Abbott’s platforms to include benchtop and rapid strip tests. Abbott will be able to better serve an expansive customer base around the world while also accelerating innovation in point of care diagnostics. More than half of Alere’s $2.5 billion in sales are in the U.S. Alere also has a growing presence in key international markets, where Abbott’s capabilities and infrastructure will drive accelerated growth of Alere’s portfolio.

“Today’s announcement marks an exciting and transformative milestone for Alere and one that provides an immediate benefit for our stockholders,” said Nawana. “Our leading platforms and global presence in point-of-care diagnostics, combined with Abbott’s broad portfolio of market-leading products, will accelerate our shared goal of improving patient care. I’d like to thank our global workforce of nearly 10,000 employees whose hard work and dedication has enabled Alere to contribute to improved patient outcomes throughout the world.”

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India’s Pharmaceuticals Market to Skyrocket from $20 Billion in 2015 to $55 Billion by 2020, says GlobalData

Jan 28, 2016 0

LONDON – The pharmaceuticals market in India, valued at $20 billion in 2015, is set to soar to $55 billion by 2020, representing an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 22.4%, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

According to the company’s latest report*, India’s rapidly growing generics market is the primary driver of the nation’s pharmaceutical sector, with sales expected to soar by nearly 84% to $26.1 billion in 2016. Generic drugs, with their low costs and easy accessibility, now dominate India’s pharmaceutical space, accounting for around 70% of the market.

Adam Dion

Adam Dion

Adam Dion, MSc, GlobalData’s Senior Industry Analyst, states that: “India supplies 20% of global generic medicines in terms of export volume, making the country the largest provider of generic medicines globally.

“Indeed, Indian pharmaceutical companies are now exporting to countries like Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Russia and Japan, and, according to India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the nation’s pharmaceutical export segment has more than doubled from $7.8 billion in 2008 to $16.5 billion in 2014.”

Another driver of India’s pharmaceutical sector is the potentially lucrative biosimilars market, which is expected to increase to $40 billion globally by 2020, as biologic treatments are introduced for diseases such as diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Dion explains: “One company benefiting from its leading position in the biosimilars market is Dr. Reddy’s. In 2007, Dr. Reddy’s was the first to launch a biosimilar version to Roche’s cancer drug rituximab (Rituxan), and has four other biosimilars on the market.

“The company’s drug characterization strategy and quality measures give Dr. Reddy’s a significant competitive advantage that reduces the uncertainty of potential outcome differences when used in patients.”

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Biocon net up 13 percent in Q3

Jan 22, 2016 0

BENGALURU– Leading biotech firm Biocon Ltd posted Rs.103 crore net profit for third quarter (October-December) of this fiscal (2015-16), registering 13 percent year-on-year (YoY) profit.

In a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Friday, the city-based company said revenue from sales rose nine percent YoY to Rs.828 crore for the quarter under review (Q3).

Total revenue increased 10 percent YoY to Rs.857 crore with Rs.29 crore from other income, which shot up 60 percent YoY from Rs.18 crore in same period year ago.

Earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) increased 23 percent YoY to Rs.209 crore for the quarter and its margin up 24 percent from 22 percent in like period year ago.

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Mankind Pharma enters US market, invests Rs.300 crore

Jan 22, 2016 0

NEW DELHI– Indian pharmaceutical company Mankind Pharma on Thursday announced its entry into the US market with an investment of Rs.300 crore.

“We wish to become a multi-national pharma company by tapping the foreign markets. We aim to place ourselves amongst the top three pharmaceutical companies of India. The US market will come up with new innovative products which will further distinguish us from others,” Mankind Pharma chairman and founder R.C. Juneja said in a statement.

Aiming for a revenue of Rs.1,000 crore from the international market by 2030, Mankind Pharma is focusing on implementing the same affordable healthcare strategy in the US as in India, the statement said.

Founded in 1995, Mankind Pharma currently employs more than 12,000 people, and has a turnover of around Rs.5,000 crore.

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Sun Pharma sells one of its plants in the US

Dec 15, 2015 0

CHENNAI– Drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd on Monday said it is selling off one of its plants in the US for an undisclosed sum.

In a statement, Sun Pharma said as a part of its manufacturing consolidation in the US, one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries has entered into an agreement with Nostrum Laboratories Inc. (Nostrum) for the divestment of the Bryan (Ohio) unit.

“As a part of the agreement, the Sun Pharma subsidiary has divested this unit as a going concern along with the employees and related products to Nostrum,” the statement said.

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NeoBiocon to sell anti-diabetic drug in UAE

Dec 10, 2015 0

BENGALURU–NeoBiocon, a joint venture of Biocon and the Gulf-based Neopharma, is partnering with Swiss-based drug major Novartis to market its oral anti-diabetic medicines in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“We have tied up Novartis Middle East in Jebel Ali free zone to expand our product offerings in the metabolic segment and benefit diabetics in UAE,” Neopharma chairman B.R. Shetty said in a statement here on Thursday.

The drugs – Jalra (Vildagliptin) and Jalra-M (Vildagliptin & Metformin) – deliver blood sugar control in patients with type-two diabetes.

Total market for oral hypoglycaemic agents (OHA) in the UAE is estimated to be $115 million and DPP-IV (dipeptidyl peptidase) inhibitors command about 50 percent market share.

Vildagliptin is available as monotherapy and in combination with metformin. Both the drugs commands over 30 percent of the DPP-IV market in the UAE.

The UAE’s health ministry has approved the company’s application to market the twin drugs from January in the region.

Novartis will make the drugs in Europe and ship them to NeoBiocon for distribution in the Gulf region.

“Biocon’s leadership in the diabetes segment will augur well for marketing these brands in the UAE,” said Shetty.

Set up in 2011, the JV also markets its brands in the region & other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) markets in various therapies such as metabolics, oncology, asthma and allergic rhinitis.

“As we are committed to offer advanced therapies for diabetics the world over, AJalra and Jalra-M will meet the needs of type 2 diabetes patients in the UAE,” Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw added.

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