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Lupin in talks to sell new migraine pill

New Delhi, Sept. 18: Lupin Ltd is in talks with potential buyers of a new chemical entity (NCE) that it has developed to mitigate migraines.

The company has already filed an IND (Investigational New Drug) application early this month.

“We are expecting the IND application to go through in the next 12-18 months,” Himadri Sen, president, pharma research and regulatory affairs of Lupin said. He said once the NCE is approved, it will be out-licensed.

Sen said the decision to out-license the product was taken because it was very expensive to take an NCE to the stage of a regularised drug in the market. Sen refused to name the companies that Lupin was in talks with. “Talks are being held and the whole process is pretty long drawn out,” he said.

There are three other NCEs that Lupin is working on. These relate to psoriasis, asthma and tuberculosis. Sen said work was going on in these NCEs at the Lupin Research Park in Pune. He did not set any time frame by when the IND applications would be filed for them. The company is also interested in raising its spending on research and development (R&D) but has not yet come up with any concrete plans. Currently, the Rs 957-crore Lupin spends about 5 per cent of its sales on R&D.

Sen was in town to participate in India Chem 2002 that is being held in the capital from September 18-22. Participants include domestic pharmaceutical companies like Ranbaxy, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Lupin, and Nicholas Piramal India Ltd, and multinationals such as Pfizer, Bayer (India) Limited, Koerting Hannovar AG.

The Mumbai-based Lupin is a market leader in anti-TB drugs with a share of about 41 per cent. Lupin focuses on drugs like Rifampicin, Pyrazinamide, Ethnambutol (anti-TB), Cephalosporins (anti-infectives) and cardio-vasculars. Recently, the government cut prices of anti-TB formulations by 41 per cent. The company said it would not be impacted much as “anti-TB drugs are only a part of our total portfolio.”

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