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Indian Pharma Sector Turns to Chronic Lifestyle Disorders (India)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Indian pharmaceutical companies are now turning to diabetes, arthritis, and other diseases of the developed world. The sector has re-oriented its research and development priorities from infectious diseases found in the under-developed world to chronic lifestyle disorders that threaten the developed world. The first possible product patent to be handed out after the patent regime changed in 2005 is likely to belong to the anti-chronic segment. Dr Reddy's Laboratory announced recently the beginning of phase III clinical trials of its anti-diabetic drug balagliatzone. Co-developed with Danish firm Rheoscience, the successful completion of the trial could give India its first intellectual property from the pharma sector. Sujay Shetty, associate director (pharmaceutical and life sciences), at PricewaterhouseCoopers, says, "Big pharma companies in the country are shifting R&D to focus on developing drugs to fight chronic illnesses. The move is apparent from the ongoing research of new chemical entities, especially in companies like Glenmark and Torrent pharmaceuticals." While deaths from infectious diseases and other deficiencies in India are estimated to decrease by 15 percent in the next ten years, according to the World Health Organization, the figure for chronic diseases is expected to grow by 18 percent with diabetes alone witnessing a 35 percent growth. D G Shah, secretary general of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, concedes that the market for chronic disease drugs is still very small in India. "But," he adds, "If we look at the current pipeline, there is a general perception that cardiovascular and diabetes are research areas where some companies are focusing, though there are no numbers to support this." (Click here for more
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