Mumbai, Nov. 16: Biotechnology firm Biocon Ltd has signed an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for its oral insulin candidate, IN-105.
Under the agreement, the US drug maker will have the option to acquire the worldwide licence to its oral insulin drug programme.
At present, there are no insulin tablets available and individuals with diabetes must inject insulin. It has been pointed out that while subcutaneous (under the skin) injection of insulin is very effective in the treatment of diabetes, its prescription is generally delayed because of the inconvenience of repeated needle use and potential hypoglycemia (caused by excess insulinisation). As compared to this mode, oral insulin is simple and painless. Therefore, Biocon has been optimistic about the potential of this product.
According to the Bangalore-based company, IN-105 is a conjugated insulin molecule that is orally delivered and targeted towards the liver, which is a central organ in glucose metabolism. Biocon has been hunting for partners to develop the drug for a couple of years now.
Biocon will conduct clinical studies up to the completion of Phase II.
The company added that if Bristol-Myers Squibb exercised its option to licence IN-105 after the successful completion of the Phase II trial, the US company will assume full responsibility for the development programme, including all development and commercialising the drug outside India.
Biocon will receive a licence fee in addition to potential regulatory and commercial milestone payments and royalties on commercial sales of IN-105 outside India.
The Biocon scrip today lost nearly 5 per cent, or Rs 14.55, to close at Rs 292.25 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.