Hyderabad, March 22,2014 – Clinical research and development firm GVK Bio is hoping to leverage its acquisition of US biologics services company Aragen Biosciences to gain a foothold in the growing biosimilars research market.

The Indian drug discovery and development company acquired the US firm for an undisclosed amount earlier this year.

“Today six of the 10 blockbuster drugs in the market are the result of biotech research. We will be integrating our US buy in the next two years and later expand,” said Manni Kantipudi, CEO.

Aragen’s operations are today limited to research, with no manufacturing capabilities.

“We will set up a manufacturing facility and later a formulations lab so that we cover the entire spectrum of drug discovery in the biotechnology space,” he told mediapersons during a plant visit.

Kantipudi said he hopes the new government that takes over after the elections will come out with a clearer regulatory framework for clinical research and drug discovery in India.

“Lack of clear regulations is killing research (in this field). When I joined GVK Bio seven years ago (from Intel), there were 200-250 clinical trials going on in India every year. It was projected at that time that five years later (in 2012), the number would grow to 2,500-3,000. But last year, we did hardly 270 trials. And this year, with this issue pushed out of focus by the elections, only five trials have so far been approved,” he said.

In expansion mode

GVK is looking to set up a new 250 kilolitre capacity plant possibly in Visakhapatnam, and estimates the cost to be Rs. 100 crore. It currently has a capacity of 135 kilolitres at its Hyderabad facility.

“We just set up a formulations lab in Bangalore, which we will be expanding into a pilot plant and later a manufacturing unit for contract manufacturing in the next few years,” said Kantipudi. Business Line

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