Pharma

Dr Reddy’s plans to ramp up R&D spend

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Indian pharmaceutical major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Limited (DRL) aims to increase the R&D spend on its three major research programmes, including the reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), in a bid to come out with pathbreaking molecules in the next 7-10 years.The company’s half-yearly expenditure on drug research ending September 2007 stood at USD 44 million and an equal amount is expected to be spent in the next half year. An increase in expenditure on drug research they believe is not an issue when revenues and profits are growing at a faster pace. The company’s inclination to raise more resources for drug research comes at a time when the company has started seeing the early signs of success at all the three tracks of drug research currently under way at its four laboratories, including the one at Atlanta in the US. In the RCT area, PF12ER, a molecule which is expected to reduce the risk of heart diseases, is entering phase one trials in the next couple of months, according to Reddy. The company has already applied for patent for the target of the drug-gata 1 activation through its Atlanta laboratory. In another breakthrough, the DRS 15725, an alternative to the expensive biologic drug Ambro, which is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, was found to be as effective as the latter in just 50 mg dosage by a European company in its animal trials recently. While the Ambro is sold at USD 50,000 for one shot, this smaller molecule can be sold at USD 1.5 to 2.5 per tablet.

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