| Testing time
New Delhi, Oct. 22: Homegrown multinational Ranbaxy Laboratories today signed an agreement with global drug major GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) for drug discovery and clinical development covering a wide range of therapeutic areas.
The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“This collaboration provides an avenue to Ranbaxy to leverage its discovery and early product development strengths and gain access to cutting edge technologies,” said Rashmi Barbhaiya, president, research & development at Ranbaxy.
Ranbaxy will be responsible for activities from optimisation of a lead compound to generation of a development candidate.
Leads may be provided by either GSK or Ranbaxy. For a proportion of the candidates selected within the collaboration, it is expected that Ranbaxy will conduct early clinical work.
GSK and Ranbaxy will form an executive steering committee to oversee the research. Once a compound has been selected as a development candidate, in most instances GSK will complete development.
Glaxo will also hold exclusive commercialisation responsibilities worldwide and Ranbaxy will hold it for India. Ranbaxy, with the consent of GSK may co-promote in US and EU.
“This agreement furthers our strategy of building strong collaborations in drug discovery while we accelerate our own internal drug discovery programmes,” said Tadataka Yamada, chairman, research & development at GlaxoSmithKline.
The agreement will focus on therapeutic areas of asthma, metabolic diorders, anti-fungal and urology, Barbhaiya said adding Glaxo will have the option of picking up compounds from Ranbaxy's existing portfolio of new drug development.
Ranbaxy also announced its third quarter results today. Net profit of Ranbaxy Laborataries and its subsidiaries rose 26 per cent to Rs. 1,871 million ($ 41 million) against Rs 1,489 million last year.
Net consolidated sales of RLL and its subsidiaries was placed at Rs.1,127 crore ($ 245 million, registering a growth of 11 per cent (2002 : Rs.10,134 million, $ 209 million).
Ranbaxy, which has out-licensed a molecule RBX 255 to Shwarz, has various molecules in different stages of development. It has an anti-bacterial in phase-I clinical trial, an asthma molecule RBX 7796 under concept study in the UK and is starting offshore study on urology molecule RBX 9001 after filing investigational new drug application for it last month, Barbhaiya said.
He said the company will also increase its R&D expenditure from 6 per cent in 2003 to 7 per cent of turnover in 2004.
Asked about the impact of the ongoing tussle between the two companies over the generic version of Augmentin in the US, he said events with regard to generics would not have any implication over the agreement.