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Glenmark in pact with US firm

Mumbai, Dec. 24: Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has joined hands with US-based health care firm Forest Laboratories to develop an inhibitor to treat chronic inflammatory conditions, including pain.

Under the agreement, Forest will make an upfront payment of $6 million to Glenmark and provide an additional $3 million to support the next phase of work.

Glenmark has identified clinical candidates and is engaged in development activities to support the initiation of first-in-human dose.

Forest will make other future payments in the next fiscal for the advancement of the programme. The US-based company also has an exclusive option to obtain licence rights to the programme upon the completion of phase 1 clinical trials.

The collaboration between Glenmark and Forest will be managed by a joint development committee with equal representation from both firms.

Sources said both the entities hoped to get a phase I (where the drug is tested on a small group of people) candidate in the next fiscal.

“This collaboration reinforces our partnership strategy to achieve our goal of launching innovative technologies,” Glenn Saldanha, chairman and managing director of Glenmark, said.

Marco Taglietti, senior vice-president of R&D, Forest Laboratories said the company continued to look for innovative ways to expand its pipeline, including entering into early stage collaborations to secure access to novel products.

He said the collaboration with Glenmark would give it access to a programme focused on a high interest target.

Glenmark has several molecules in various stages of development, primarily focused on inflammation, pain and oncology.

This is not the first time that Glenmark is entering into an agreement with Forest. The company had outlicensed its first prospective drug molecule for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to Forest more than eight years ago. The drug failed to meet the clinical targets in 2009.

On the National Stock Exchange, the Glenmark scrip hit a new 52-week high of Rs 527.85 in intra-day trade, before ending at Rs 521, a gain of 4.28 per cent, or Rs 21.40.

 
 
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