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Financial Express
23 February 2011
By Fe Bureau

Following the race with global pharma majors such as Merck and Roche, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is set to commence its phase II trials of DRL 17822, a class of CETP inhibitors, in May. Cholesterol ester transfer proteins (CETPs) are useful for controlling both diabetes and also lowers blood cholesterol. CETP are a class of compounds which have a similar market potential like that of statins. The company has completed the phase-I trials which are essentially the drug safety studies and is gearing up for phase-II trials.

Speaking during the inaugural session at the BioAsia 2011 conference in Hyderabad, K Anji Reddy, chairman, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, said, "In May this year, we are going to take one of our molecules DRL 17822 into phase-II stage where there are only two companies at present, Roche and Merck, which are developing a similar molecule and are in phase III trials."

"So, we are going to start as the third company in the world in this segment which is known as CETP inhibitor having a potential to increase HDL by handling 110% as opposed to the current 26%," Reddy said.

This should change the way cardiovascular diseases will be treated in future. With this, Dr Reddy’s reiterated that the Indian pharma companies are not copy cats and can also discover drugs. "The generic version of copycats was over in 2005 when the patent regime can in place and we have marched on to the journey of drug discovery," he said. Further, with over 150 USFDA-approved plants, Indian pharma companies are set for a new era in research, he added.

As on March 30, 2010, Dr Reddy’s had six new chemical entities (NCEs) of which five are in clinical development and one in the pre-clinical stage. However, the company has found no progress for its Balaglitazone.molecule, which is targetted for Type 2 diabetes. It is currently in the process of finding a partner for taking for further research of Balatglitazone.

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