US-based $23-billion diversified technology firm 3M is in talks with top domestic pharma companies to licence drug delivery technologies. As a leading provider of asthma inhaler solutions to Indian companies, 3M plans to partner these firms in developing medicines which can be delivered through the skin (transdermal drug delivery). 3M expects its drug delivery division to be a future growth driver for its healthcare business in India. It wants to cash in on the recent trend among Indian pharma firms for innovative research, especially in drug delivery systems. The company is also exploring the option to conduct joint studies with Indian pharma firms.
Talks have been initiated with the top 10 Indian pharma companies for transdermal drug delivery systems. According to Gautam Khanna, 3M India’s vice-president and head of healthcare,the firms are identifying molecules which can be delivered through their technology.
Globally, 3M collaborates with pharma firms for product identification, pre-feasibility assessment till the commercialisation of drugs. Its trans-dermal drug delivery solutions are for a wide variety of molecules, in-cluding vaccine, protein and peptides.
3M, which is a global leader in inhalation drug delivery, churns out more than 60 million metered dose inhalers each year. The company already works with a host of Indian firms for their asthma inhalers.
Apart from drug delivery, 3M is focusing on the health information system as a future growth area. This business was launched earlier this year in India.
3M is also exploring options for inorganic growth in India. The company had earlier explored the area of acquiring new medical technology for infection prevention. “But we did not get a suitable target. We keep on exploring possible targets for medical technologies in India,” said Mr Khanna.